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Gabrielle Union Says Simon Cowell Doesn't Think the Law Applies to Him; Calls Out NBC for Independent Investigation

Gabrielle Union Says Simon Cowell Doesn't Think the Law Applies to Him; Calls Out NBC for Independent Investigation

Gabrielle Union is opening up about her experience on America’s Got Talent along with her involvement in NBC’s investigation surrounding her exit.

During an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the 47-year-old actress said that she thought the show would be easy and fun, but recalled that things weren’t easy from the start, and she’s calling out AGT creator Simon Cowell.

“Day one, Simon Cowell is smoking cigarettes inside. I’ve worked a long time. I’ve worked with all kinds of people. I’ve never experienced that,” Gabrielle said, while also mentioning that she is severely allergic to cigarette smoke.

“When your boss — the person who has the ability to determine who gets opportunities and who doesn’t — doesn’t believe that the law applies to him or the rules apply to him, and he does it in full view of NBC, Fremantle and Syco and no one cares about Simon Cowell exposing all of these employees to second hand smoke, that’s day one,” Gabrielle claimed.

“What message do you think that sends to anyone that has an issue with the very real racism and the lack of accountability?” Gabrielle continued. “And it goes on and on and on.”

Gabrielle went on to discuss the investigation into AGT that NBC commissioned, saying that she thought it was going to be “independent.”

“I decided to participate in this investigation,” Gabrielle said. “Silly me, I thought ‘independent’ was independent. But when NBC and [producers] Fremantle and Syco pay for that investigation, they control it.”

“They turn over what they believe to be inflammatory things, or things that are not advantageous to me,” Gabrielle alleged. “In the middle of an investigation about racism and discrimination? This is what’s happening from the top of the company.”

Gabrielle then shared her thoughts on how Hollywood could treat black people in the industry.

“There has to be an increase in representation across the board from the top to the bottom. We have to be able to be okay with change that doesn’t always benefit us,” Gabrielle continued. “Some people believe that … the only way to lead is to center yourself in every argument. But what I’m learning throughout this whole process is, sometimes the best way to lead is to get out of the way and make room for someone else. We have to dismantle the whole thing. We can’t put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.”

Earlier this month, Gabrielle filed a discrimination complaint against America’s Got Talent producers. In the complaint, Gabrielle accused NBC exec Paul Telegdy of threatening her for speaking out against racism on set. NBC is denying Gabrielle‘s claim.

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: America's Got Talent, Gabrielle Union, NBC, Simon Cowell

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