Union was hired by NBC to appear as a judge on Season 14 of the hit competition show. Then in November 2019, Union alleged that the set of the show was “toxic”.
Union claimed that she was subjected to several racial criticisms while on the show, one of those being her hairstyle changes, which was said to be perceived as ‘too Black’ for the show's audience - a criticism Union said she received more than a half a dozen times.
Shortly after speaking out, it was announced that Union and actress Julianne Hough would not be returning for the 2020 season.
Union is in the midst of a lawsuit against NBC for firing her from the hit show, with allegations of a toxic work environment. Union stopped by Spotify’s Jemele Hill Is Unbothered and opened up to her friend about her true feelings towards NBC, the hit show, and especially Crews, who Union thought of as a friend during her time on the show.
The chat lasted an hour. Hill flat out asked Union “what the f*** is up” in regards to Crews. The AGT host has been making headlines as of late for making controversial tweets in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. Crews also received a lot of criticism for staying quiet after Union’s firing and allegations.
One of the more disappointing things for Union was that Crews would go on to do a series of interviews, including NBC’s Today show where he praised AGT, the network and talked about his positive experiences working on the show.
Union told Hill “People hit me all day long and are like, what’s happening? And the only thing I know for sure is that Terry Crews gets three checks from NBC. So, I don’t know if being worried about job stability — which listen, we all know that if you speak up about racism and white supremacy, you absolutely can be shown the door,” Union states. “I don’t know if that’s the motivation.”
Union did address the critics who have come forward, saying that she wasn’t the only black person on AGT.
“I was like, ‘No, I was on there — with Terry Crews,’” she said. “Based on his recent actions, do you really think Terry Crews was an ally, was helpful, was a sounding board? I think Terry Crews is showing us who he is and what he does during times of adversity and it’s not solidarity.”
“At the end of the day, the work that I am doing to make sure that NBC is a more fair and equitable place of employment will benefit you as well,” Union said about Crews.
“So it’s OK to eat your cereal and let me do my thing and get out of the way. If you’re not going to help, then get out of the way. If you don’t feel financially comfortable, or spiritually comfortable or you flat out disagree, but at the end of the day he will benefit from a safer, more equitable workplace from what I stuck my neck out to do and got fired for, you know? Instead of actively working against progress.”
One of the bigger revelations is that Union hinted that more will come out in her lawsuit and that Crews will “regret” not being there for her.
“Since I’ve been so vocal about what happened, the floodgates have opened. This reckoning is just hitting,” she stated. “There is so much more that is coming… I have a feeling he will probably regret it for a thousand reasons, very soon.”