Following a report on Tuesday from Variety that claimed Union spoke out against the alleged “toxic” workplace culture at the show, the former NBA superstar tweeted praise for his wife’s morals and responded to the news. (The outlet reported on Sunday that Union’s contract was not renewed by NBC.)
“’Men lie, Women lie, numbers don’t’ Over this past year I’ve been approached by many people saying that my wife @itsgabrielleu is the main reason they’ve started watching #AGT or that they love her insight and sincerity on the show,” Wade, 37, tweeted.
“So when i got the news that my wife was being fired — my first question was obviously why!? I am still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture.”
Wade, who shares 12-month-old daughter Kaavia with the “Bring it On” star, went on to say that he was proud of his wife for “standing up for what she stands for.”
“So to you @itsgabrielleu 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‼️”
The report alleges that Union was subject to various racial criticisms, including references to her many hairstyle changes, which were perceived as “too black” for “AGT’s” core demographic — a critique Union reportedly received over half a dozen times.
She was also not keen on what some say was a racially insensitive joke by comedian Jay Leno while he was a guest judge.
During the filming of an interstitial segment, Leno joked about a painting that featured Simon Cowell surrounded by dogs. Leno joked that the dogs looked like something one could find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant” — much to the chagrin of “the very few Asian staffers” on the show.
The comment was later edited out of the Aug. 6 episode.
Union allegedly urged producers to report the incident to NBC’s human resources department — but her pleas fell on deaf ears.
The report also noted an episode in which Union took offense to a white contestant impersonating popular acts and people of color through quick costume changes. The contestant impersonated Beyonce and emerged with black hands.
After the actress pleaded with producers to remove the audition, producers reportedly told her, “We’ll take it out later.”
In a joint statement obtained by Variety, NBC and Fremantle — the production company behind “AGT” — responded to the allegations, saying: “‘America’s Got Talent’ has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host lineup has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for ‘AGT’’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”
Union has yet to comment on her exit, though she shared a quick message to her Instagram followers Wednesday as she headed to the gym.
“When I’m not feeling my best, I try to get in a sweat,” she captioned the video snap. “When the world feels like it’s falling apart, try to find your peace.”
A rep for NBC did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.