This former America’s Got Talent judge is reclaiming her time. After being fired from the show recently, Gabrielle Union is responding to the “anti-black” hair comments that followed her during her time on the NBC talent series. And if you know anything about the (honestly ageless) 47-year-old actress, it’s that she’s unapologetic about speaking her truth and standing up for what’s right. Naturally, that’s exactly what she did this week.
On Dec. 12, 2019, Union took to Instagram to repost a video created by her hairstylist, Larry Sims, depicting an array of her AGT looks whilst on the show in support of her style. Her hair is an important feature in this story because after Union was fired from the series in mid-November alongside fellow judge Julianne Hough, Variety published an investigative report about the nature of Union’s termination. Turns out, the star witnessed a slew of racist comments from judges toward auditioning talent, along with “excessive notes” from producers about her appearance—namely, her natural hair being called “too black.” Now Union is finally speaking out and calling these comments out for what they are: “anti-blackness.”
“Unapologetically me. Be comfortable and confident with your whole ass self. It might give others the fluuuxxx but never stop being you. You can shine on your own terms,” she wrote in her Instagram caption. “And if you got something to say I dont take notes rooted in anti-blackness. I love me as I am.”
On NBC’s part, the network agreed to sit down with Union on Dec. 4 to discuss the investigation into these comments. PEOPLE reports that Union and AGT‘s production company, Fremantle and Syco Entertainment, sat down to talk for five hours.
“We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday,” Union wrote on Twitter. “I was able to again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
Let’s just hope this discussion leads to some good change. After all, Union didn’t owe NBC her time and presence, especially after they so rudely disrespected it. For fans, however, her courage, labor, and confidence to speak up certainly do not go unnoticed.