The whirlwind behind the bizarre firing of Gabrielle Union from variety show Americas Got Talent has the actress gaining endless support after actresses Ellen Pompeo, Debra Messing, and Jameela Jamil all came to the defense of Gabby, dragging the network.
According to published reports, a myriad of celebrities, including the aforementioned, took to Twitter to speak out against the egregious firing of veteran actress Gabrielle Union after Variety dropped the bombshell that her “Black hairstyles” attributed to her termination, along with Union’s decision to speak out against an alleged racist joke made by veteran comedian Jay Leno.
Both Gabrielle Union and host Julianne Hough were released this year after it was revealed the two were upset that offensive issues were not being addressed, including reports of an offensive joke made when Leno made a guest appearance on the show. While preparing for the show with Union and Hough, Leno walked past a painting of one of the show’s judges and executive producer Simon Cowell surrounded by his dogs.
Leno joked that Cowell looked at the dogs like they were “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”
Union found the joke offensive and demanded that Leno be reported, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Leno’s remarks were pulled from the Aug. 6 episode and Union ultimately let go.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s Pompeo was the first star with a show on the same network to speak out against the discharge of the longstanding actress, calling the incident “toxic.”
“Workplace cultures will continue to be toxic until there is unity and solidarity among all women,” Pompeo wrote. “If you go for self in these moments you undermine the work we are out here trying to do. Obviously this network feels like they can operate like this and it’s okay.”
The solidarity tweet inspired Will & Grace’s Messing to co-sign, adding that women are frequently labeled as “difficult” for speaking out against hostile work environments, instead of networks and organizations actually addressing the issue to make everyone feel respected.
”This is disgusting behavior from a network that has been my professional home for decades,” Messing wrote. “Yes, women become ‘difficult,’ when their insistence on a respectful and professional working environment, is ignored. Addressing a hostile work environment is inconvenient when there is a huge money making machine that is involved.”
Messing continued her drag, calling out the network’s “cowardice” for the unwillingness to address Union’s concerns over an alleged racist joke that veteran comedian Jay Leno told on the set regarding Asians.
“It is cowardice, greed, and protection of the status quo revealed,” Messing wrote. “Being “hands off,” is inexcusable and reflects a laissez faire attitude toward systemic racism and sexism.”
All of the support prompted Union to speak for the first time since the dismal. The Bring It On actress took to Twitter to show her appreciation to everyone who spoke out on her behalf.
”So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
Last week, the show got a major side-eye from fans after news broke that Union was fired, making her the second African American to be removed from the show after Nick Cannon’s exit in 2017.