Former America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon is weighing in on the controversy hanging over the NBC show.
Cannon, 39, is firmly on Team Gabrielle Union when it comes to her claims of a ‘toxic culture’ on the set of the Simon Cowell-created talent showcase.
In an interview with VLADTV posted Wednesday, Cannon shared there’d been ‘some eye-opening events that occurred that really shed light on some cultural insensitivities, ultimately, when it comes to women, when it comes to how the show is produced.’
Team Gabby: Former America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon said Wednesday he sides with Gabrielle Union and her claims she experienced racism and sexism while a judge on the show
He went on: ‘I believe, as a producer – I was over at AGT for a damn near decade – you kinda see these things as a giant machine, but if you really take the time to step back, you see some things that are truly not fair… It’s an institutional issue.’
NBC has been investigating claims by Union that she’d experienced racism and sexism while a judge on season 14 of AGT last year.
Cannon commented that current show host Terry Crews should have backed Union from the start especially since she had supported him when he went public with allegations he’d been the victim of sexual assault by a Hollywood executive.
‘I love Terry Crews, but it gets to that place… again it’s an institutional thing, so I’m not blaming him. We get excited about the occupation, we get excited to work for the man and we gon’ defend the man cause he gave me a job,’ Cannon said.
‘When it comes to Gabby, I don’t care. Whatever she said, if it happened, I’m rocking with you,’ he added.
His view: ‘I was over at AGT for a damn near decade…. if you really take the time to step back, you see some things that are truly not fair… It’s an institutional issue,’ he said on VLADTV
Issues: He spoke of ‘eye-opening events… that shed light on some cultural insensitivities, ultimately, when it comes to women, when it comes to how the show is produced’
Former gig: Cannon hosted AGT from 2009 to 2016. In 2017 he resigned, citing creative differences between himself and executives at NBC. He’s pictured with a contestant in 2015
Former co-stars: Cannon, 39, commented that current show host Terry Crews should have backed Union from the start especially since she had supported him when he went public with allegations he’d been the victim of sexual assault by a Hollywood executive
Troubling behavior: Crews and Union worked together on season 14 of AGT last year. NBC is investigating her claims of a ‘toxic culture’ on the set of the Simon Cowell-created show
Earlier this week, Crews, 51, poured fuel on the fire after Union called him out for throwing her ‘under the bus’ with his comments on NBC’s Today that AGT was ‘the most diverse place’ he has worked.
On Monday, Crews kept the dispute going, tweeting: ‘”I’m a hog. You’re a chicken. Just ‘cuz you gave me eggs— Don’t mean I owe you bacon.” – Ancient Flint Michigan proverb.’
His tweet appeared to suggest that while Union had publicly expressed support for him in 2017 when he claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive, that didn’t mean he owed her.
In a second tweet a couple of hours later, Crews wrote: ‘There is only one woman one earth I have to please. Her name is Rebecca.
‘Not my mother, my sister, my daughters or co-workers. I will let their husbands/ boyfriends/ partners take care of them.
‘Rebecca gives me WINGS.’
‘Don’t mean I owe you’: On Monday, Crews fanned the flames with a tweet appearing to suggest that while Union supported him in 2017 when he claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive, that didn’t mean he owed her
Digging in: In a second tweet a couple of hours later, Crews wrote : ‘There is only one woman one earth I have to please. Her name is Rebecca’
Clear opinion: The actor, 51, seemed to be clearly stating that any and all loyalty he feels is to his wife Rebecca, 54, whom he married in 1990. The couple are pictured in November
Crews took over from Tyra Banks as host of America’s Got Talent last year.
Banks left the series after two seasons, having replaced original host Nick Cannon.
Union joined the talent competition as a judge for its 14th season, which aired last year, along with former DWTS personality Julianne Hough. Neither were invited back for season 15.
The actress, 47, subsequently spoke out about experiencing racist comments and being told she was wearing her hair ‘too black’ for the AGT audience.
She also complained that judge-producer Cowell continuously smoked on the indoor set, Variety reported in November.
NBC has stated publicly that the network is taking Union’s complaints about troubling behavior on the set of AGT seriously and the network has spoken with Union as part of a formal investigation which is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.
Fired: Union joined the talent competition as a judge for its 14th season, which aired last year, along with former DWTS personality Julianne Hough. Neither were invited back for season 15
Defense: Terry Crews weighed in on the controversy last Thursday during an appearance on Today, defending AGT as ‘the most diverse place’ he’s ever worked
Baring all: Her Tweet were a clear shot at the AGT’s host who spoke on the Today Show Thursday and said, ‘I have never been in a more diverse place in 20 years of entertainment’
Addressing Union’s claims on Today last Thursday, Crews said: ‘First of all, I can’t speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience.’
‘In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment,’ Crews stated.
Union then tweeted: ‘Truth telling, wanting change & having MULTIPLE witnesses who bravely came forward to let EVERYONE know I didn’t lie or exaggerate, really exposes those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus, forgetting quickly who stepped up 4 THEIR truth.’
Union made a point to support Crews in 2017, after he alleged that a ‘high level Hollywood executive’ had ‘groped [his] privates’ at a party, despite many of his colleagues remaining silent.
She tweeted at the time: ‘Terry Crews is a stand-up guy. Literally one of the nicest people in our industry. He is honest, kind & true professional. I believe him & stand by him. #MeToo.’
Spotlight: NBC’s entertainment chief Paul Telegdy recently said that the network takes the allegations about AGT very seriously. The investigation is set to be completed this month
Union and Hough had replaced longtime AGT judges Mel B and Heidi Klum who were on the show for six seasons from 2013 until 2019.
Klum has now returned as a judge for the season 2 of the spin-off America’s Got Talent: The Champions, joining newcomer Alesha Dixon, a British rapper and TV personality.
Klum, 46, recently clarified remarks she had made which seemed to defend America’s Got Talent against charges of racism.
‘My experience may not be the same as Gabrielle’s,’ she admitted in an interview with People published last Friday.
Saying her own experience has been ‘a positive one’, Klum explained: ‘I can only speak of my own truth, and by no means is that meant to negate or question Gabrielle’s truth.’
‘To me, everyone treats you with the utmost respect. I’ve never seen anything that was weird or hurtful,’ she added.
Heidi Klum, a judge on AGT for six seasons, has said she didn’t see anything ‘hurtful’ while working on the show. ‘My experience may not be the same as Gabrielle’s,’ she admitted in an interview with People published last Friday