TIME’S UP Responds to NBC’s Firing of Gabrielle Union

Changing Companies, Changing Culture, Corporate Policy, Equity, NBC, Power, TIME'S UP Entertainment, TIME'S UP Impact Lab


On November 26, Variety reported that actress Gabrielle Union was dismissed from the NBC show, America’s Got Talent, after speaking up about the workplace toxicity she endured and witnessed as a judge on the show.

Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Now, responds with the following statement:

“Gabrielle Union’s experience at America’s Got Talent is exemplary of the double bind that black women face at work. Not only did Union reportedly endure and witness racist and inappropriate behavior — including racially-insensitive comments and excessive criticism about her physical appearance — but it also appears she was punished for speaking out: the company labeled her as ‘difficult’ before ousting her from the show altogether.

“Union’s story is deeply troubling on its own, but her experience is particularly problematic because it follows a pattern of NBCUniversal protecting the careers of powerful men at the expense of women who speak out.

“Union’s experience shows that NBCUniversal still has a lot of work to do to change its culture so discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are no longer tolerated at the company. Building a culture of safety and equity requires continuous, intentional work sustained over a long period of time — even when a company isn’t in the throes of a crisis. Ensuring people of all kinds are respected and supported at work is critical for any company, but especially a media company like NBC that has such an outsized influence in our culture and in our lives.”

Additional Background

TIME’S UP Now has launched a petition urging NBCUniversal leaders to take Union’s allegations seriously and take concrete steps to foster a safe and equitable workplace.

In addition, the TIME’S UP Foundation has launched a new initiative, the TIME’S UP Impact Lab, which will pioneer research to help companies adopt proven remedies to address sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination, as well as broader systemic inequality and injustice at work.


TIME'S UP Now

TIME’S UP™ Now is the nonpartisan and not-for-profit advocacy and political arm of TIME’S UP. We advocate for safe, fair, and dignified work for all in the public and private sectors, calling for an end to harassment and other related forms of discrimination on the job. And we fight to rebuild the systems that have taken away women’s power for far too long. TIME’S UP Now is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.