Gabrielle Union Breaks Silence After 'AGT' Termination, "Don't Be the Happy Negro"
Gabrielle Union: mother, actor, activist, and a former panelist on the popular talent show, ‘America's Got Talent’ was publicly "released" from her position as a judge on the hit show.
For those who have never tuned in or followed the craze of this long-standing show, ‘America's Got Talent’ is a major televised program that showcases the unique and diverse skills of individuals from across the country on a stage for thousands. There should be no surprise that this show is a brainchild of Simon Cowell, a former judge on ‘American Idol’ and other ‘Got Talent’ variations.
Union's seemingly forced departure from the show comes after the alleged complaints she has made about the program's lack of diversity and awareness when dealing with people of color. Union has been known to stand against bigotry and injustices concerning not only race but also discrimination against those in the LGBT community.
Among the claims made, Union's Stylist, Larry Sims, makes mention of her hairstyles as being "too black" on his Instagram page along with a few glamour shots of a proud Union.
It should also be mentioned that Union is not alone in her departure from the show based on a toxic work environment. Back in 2017, Nick Cannon, a former host on ‘America's Got Talent,’ alluded to the executives of the network attempting to "put me in my place." He posted to Facebook, "I was to be punished for a joke…my soul won't allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices…"
It took a while for Union to publicly speak out on the matter, but in a recent interview she urges listeners to “[not] be the happy negro that does the bidding of the status quo.” She also continues to say, “[d]on’t allow them to call you angry when someone else saying the same thing is called passionate.”
The comparison between anger and passion has been an argument from both women and people of color in corporations for years. How far can the minority go without being seen as rude and/or disorderly in professional environments?
Union states, “I can’t have real freedom or peace sitting on the truth and what’s right…if I can’t use my voice and call it out as it happens… I’d rather lose it all...”
During Union’s testimony in the interview she never mentions ‘America’s Got Talent’ or Simon Cowell. Though given recent events, many viewers can conclude that she was alluding to her recent and unjust termination from the series.