Gabrielle Union is no longer a judge on America's Got Talent, the series that looks to find talented performers, musicians and more with a panel of judges calling the shots. While some may have believed that Gabrielle's departure was self-inflicted, a new report from Variety says it was after she reported a racist joke said by guest judge, Jay Leno. 


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According to the publication, when Jay made a visit to the North Hollywood set he came across a photo of another judge and executive producer, Simon Cowell, seated with his dogs around him. Jay reportedly made a joke that said the photo looked like something one would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.” Jay said the line on camera and it was later cut from the show's airing. 

Gabrielle reported the joke to human resources at NBC, telling them they need to understand why the joke is not funny and rather offensive to many of the staffers and any Asian individual that would be watching at home. Employees of the show further told the publication that the latter incident was one of many on set since the show had a toxic culture. It was after Gabrielle's report to HR that her contract was not renewed. 

“‘America’s Got Talent’ has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” NBC and series producer Fremantle said in a joint statement. “The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”

Gabrielle has declined to comment. 


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