“So many tears, so much gratitude,” the actress wrote to her Twitter followers on Wednesday night. “THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
Earlier in the day, Union posted a series of videos to her Instagram story while hitting the gym with husband Dwyane Wade, captioning one, “When the world feels like it’s falling apart, try to find your peace.”
On Tuesday, Variety followed up with another report ― this one an explosive exposé alleging that Union raised concerns about racism on the show before being cut loose from it.
In one instance, comedian and fellow judge Jay Leno joked during filming that dogs featured in a painting inside Simon Cowell’s home looked like an offering “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”
Union asked producers to report the remark to the network’s human resources department, though sources with knowledge of the situation told Variety the producers never did so.
Variety reported another case in which Union and other employees were upset that a white performer on the program impersonated Beyoncé, having made his hands black. Union urged producers to cut the contestant from the lineup, and was told, “We’ll talk it out later.” The man’s audition was eliminated from the episode before it aired, according to Variety.
The outlet also reported that in delivering critiques of both Union and Hough’s physical appearances, Union was told that her hairstyles were “too black.”
In a joint statement, NBC and America’s Got Talent production company Fremantle said the series “has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show.”
“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,” the statement read. “NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”
On Wednesday, Wade tweeted that he is still trying to understand why his wife was kicked off the show, calling her “an advocate for our community and culture.”
The former NBA star wrote that as proud as he was that Union had been tapped as a judge for the program, “I am even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that’s US.”
“So [cheers] to you,” he added, “on not losing sight of the lessons we’ve talked about teaching our daughter and for kicking ass while you were on that platform. Number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world‼️”
This article has been updated with a statement from NBC and Fremantle.