Gabrielle Union thinks that while NBC's initial efforts to call attention to harassment in the workplace are good, there's more work that needs to be done!
As Entertainment Tonight reports, Union made a tweet on Tuesday about the television network's proposed plan to address discrimination, commending NBC for not ignoring the issue. However, she also suggested an important change!
Union says that "more changes are needed" within the industry
Union's comments came in response to an article from The Hollywood Reporter about how NBC has responded to the "reckoning" that's taken place within the industry. It cited a memo from chairman of NBCUniversal TV and streaming, Mark Lazarus, about how the company plans to protect its employees from workplace discrimination.
"Great start by NBC to recognize the need to not turn away & ignore racial & gender discrimination on programs like #AGT," Union tweeted. "More changes are needed however. Like stopping executives from intimidating talent from sharing their experience of racism in their own workplace investigations."
Union given right to sue after discrimination complaint was filed
Union herself has been on the receiving end of these issues while working for NBC. As Entertainment Tonight shares, she previously spoke out about the discrimination and harassment she experienced as a judge in season 14 of America's Got Talent, which launched an internal investigation into the show.
During a recent appearance on The Daily Social Distancing Show With Trevor Noah, Union opened up about the discrimination complaint she filed. Entertainment Tonight reveals that NBC, Simon Cowell, FremantleMedia and Syco Entertainment were all named in the complaint, which was initially filed with California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing in June.
While the complaint was made after NBC conducted their own investigation within the company after Union's allegations, it has now been closed as Union was granted the right to sue.
Union opened up to Trevor Noah about taking part in investigation
Union revealed to Noah that she'd "decided to participate" in the investigation into her claims, hoping it would result in "holding people at the top accountable."
Unfortunately, that's not what ended up happening. "They were like, 'We're going to commission this independent investigation.' Well, silly me," Union said. "I thought independent was independent, but when NBC and Fremantle and Syco pay for that investigation, they control it."
Union says that her agent was threatened by the head of NBC
Union went on to talk about how NBC's control of the investigation skewed its outcome against her. "They turn over what they believe to be inflammatory things, or things that are not advantageous to me," Union explained, "over to the head of NBC, Paul Telegdy, who uses those things that he thinks are smoking guns to shoot down my claims."
"He then threatens my agent [by saying,] 'Gabrielle better watch who she calls a racist' in the middle of an investigation about racism and discrimination," she continued. "This is what's happening from the top of the company." As Entertainment Tonight mentions, NBC previously called Union's claim of being threatened "categorically untrue."
"We took Ms. Union's concerns seriously, and engaged an outside investigator who found an overarching culture of diversity on the show," the statement said. "NBCUniversal remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect."