Gabrielle Union Breaks Her Silence on AGT's 'Toxic Work Environment': 'I Felt Isolated'

Sources have told Variety that Union's rotating hairstyles were labeled by production as "too black" for mass audiences. Union would not address that specific charge in the new interview, but in Wednesday's statement, Fremantle, Syco and NBC denied the allegation:

"Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union's appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time. The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract."

"NBC, Fremantle and Syco share Ms. Union's dedication to diversity and inclusion in the industry. We continue to remain committed to having an inclusive environment for everyone associated with the show, and to upholding AGT as one of the most diverse programs on television."

Ultimately, Union said she feels compelled to speak out about her turbulent experience with the show.

"If I can't speak out with the privilege that I have, and the benefits that my husband and I have, what is the point of making it?" she told Variety. "What is the point of having a seat at the table and protecting your privilege when you're not doing s— to help other people? It's absolutely terrifying to speak truth to power about anything. I'm trying not to be terrified, and some days are better than others."

"I know it's scary to stick your neck out, and get an ounce of power and have to share it," she added. "It's not what we're taught, but you don't have to sacrifice your soul to do it. There's another way, and I'm committed to finding it."

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Simon Cowell Says All of America Will Be Talking About One America's Got Talent Contestant

An America’s Got Talent season unlike any other.

On Friday, Simon Cowell virtually stopped by Daily Pop and teased to E!’s own Morgan Stewart the unique season viewers will experience when AGT premieres on NBC this Tuesday, May 26 at 8 p.m. For starters, the former American Idol judge shared how the coronavirus pandemic affected filming for the popular talent competition.

“It did affect us near the end of the audition shows, we started to lose the audience, for obvious reasons,” Simon told E!. “And then we had to do two days, which we’ve never done before, with literally no audience whatsoever.”

According to the longtime TV personality, the lack of audience was “really, really tough for the contestants.” Nonetheless, Simon assured Morgan that the AGT contestants overcame this particular hurdle.

“They have done an outstanding job! I mean, full credit to them,” the British entrepreneur declared.

As for new judge Sofia Vergara, who joined the AGT family for this season, the 60-year-old father of one said “she did really well.” Although, he did note that first time judges never realize how moved they can get by the contestants’ stories.

In fact, Simon teased that “all of America’s gonna be talking about” one contestant featured in Tuesday’s premiere.

“In my opinion, it’s one of the most extraordinary stories we’ve ever had on any of these shows,” he added.

Per Simon, one of the contestants was “wrongfully convicted 37 years ago” and was cleared by DNA evidence thanks to the Innocence Project.

Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

“He was released last November,” Simon shared. “And, while he was locked up, he used to watch America’s Got Talent and it kind of gave him hope and inspiration. So, he came on the show. He’s one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met.”

Even though Simon explained that this is just one out of “10 amazing stories” from this season, this man’s journey “really resonated” with him.

For all of this and more, including his thoughts on more kids and marriage, be sure to watch the interview above!

America’s Got Talent premieres Tuesday, May 26 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 12:30 p.m., only on E!

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America's Got Talent: The Champions: Who Will Win? And Who Should Win?

Ten acts remain in the battle to become America’s Got Talent‘s next “World Champion,” and it’s still anyone’s guess which will emerge victorious. So let’s start guessing!

The 10 acts still standing include Alexa Lauenburger, whose fleet of well-trained dogs never fails to amuse the judges; Angelina Jordan, whose ethereal renditions of classic rock jams have been music to our ears; Boogie Storm, the Star Wars-themed dance crew that benefitted from Simon Cowell’s theft of Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer; Duo Transcend, a pair of acrobats whose athleticism and courage are matched only by their hotness; and Hans, an eccentric showman whose flashy performances really seem to resonate with the super fans.

There’s also Marcelito Pomoy, whose golden pipes allow him to crush both halves of any romantic duet; Sandou Trio Russian Bar, a trio which continues to — you know — raise the bar; Silhouettes, whose excellent shadow puppetry always comes with a hopeful message; Tyler Butler-Figueroa, who won us over with his fierce violin skills and inspirational story; and V. Unbeatable, a fan-favorite dance crew from the most recent season of AGT. (You can click here for a closer look at this season’s finalists.)

Any one of those 10 acts could leave the competition with The Champions‘ coveted cash prize, but who will it be? And who should it be? If history has taught us anything, it’s that these two things are not mutually exclusive. Plenty of deserving acts have already been sent home, while a handful of WTF contestants have made it all the way to the finish line.

It all comes down to the whims of the show’s super fans, as well as the four judges — Cowell, Mandel, Heidi Klum and Alesha Dixon. And while we, the people, don’t actually get any say in the matter, that doesn’t mean we can’t form a loud opinion. This is still the internet, after all.

My prediction is that Marcelito Pomoy will walk away with this season’s grand prize, and I would be very happy for him. Despite my disagreements with the super fans (Hans?!) and the judges (Boogie Storm?!), my gut tells me that we’re going to end up seeing eye to eye on this one.

How do you predict Monday’s finale (NBC, 8/7c) will shake out? Cast your vote in our polls below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.

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