Last week it was reported that America’s Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union was fired by the show. There were many rumors surrounding as to why but until today those rumors weren’t confirmed.
According to Page Six, Union was fired because of an incident that took place on-set when former Tonight Show host Jay Leno made an appearance.
Leno made an inappropriate joke about a dog painting judge Simon Cowell had on his wall. Variety reports Leno joked that the dogs looked like something you’d find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”
The joke did not sit well with Union and some staffers, some of which who are Asian decent. The joke was seen as perpetuating a stereotype that Asian cultures like eating dog meat.
Union asked the producers to report the incident to human resources, and the line was cut from the show when it aired on August 6th.
It wasn’t the first time the show has been called out for its toxic nature. There were “complaints” about the way Union wore her hair, which was seen by some as too ethic. Julia Hough, another judge from this past season, was also let go and even her appearance was questioned.
Hough, however, is not alleging any discrimination or mistreatment, “I had a wonderful time on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ I loved working with the cast, crew, and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC,” she said.
Hough has two upcoming holiday specials on NBC, which may explain her reluctance to confirm these reports.
Neither Union, Cowell or Leno have confirmed the reason for Union’s firing.