Julianne Hough Praises Gabrielle Union for 'Speaking Her Truth' on 'AGT' Culture

Hough says she is “really proud of NBC as well for showing up and starting a narrative”

Julianne Hough guested on the third hour of the “Today” show Thursday and one of the topics at hand was her and Gabrielle Union’s ousters from “AGT.”

Hough told the NBC News morning show anchors that it “excites” her to see tweets like Union’s from Wednesday, in which the “Bring It On” actress posted about having a lengthy and “productive” meeting with NBC.

Union and her reps have stated that the actress was fired from “America’s Got Talent” after one season for complaining about the behind-the-scenes culture at the hit summer reality competition. Among her complaints were an off-color joke told by guest judge Jay Leno, as well as raising concerns over show creator Simon Cowell’s habit of smoking indoors.

NBC said it is investigating the matter.

“That is what we need — to start conversations — and I just commend Gabrielle for speaking her truth and starting a conversation,” Hough said. “I’m really proud of NBC as well for also showing up and starting a narrative. That’s what’s gonna to change the workplace and the paradigm that we’ve been working in for many, many years. And it’s shifting, and I think that’s really exciting.”

Hough and her brother Derek, both professional dancers, were on the “Today” show to promote their upcoming NBC Christmas special,”Holidays With the Houghs.”

“Holidays With the Houghs” airs Monday, Dec. 16 at 10/9c on NBC.

When asked, Hough said she has “reached out” to Union, but it sounds like they haven’t touched base.

“I think we both have been very busy…hopefully when I get back to L.A. later this afternoon we can have a conversation,” Hough said.

She summed up the experience this way: “Life is crazy and sometimes you can’t control things and when obstacles come your way you have to be graceful about it and have integrity and I think that people with authenticity and integrity will create change.”

'America's Got Talent': 10 Best Golden Buzzer Performances (Videos)

  • Mandy HarveyThe deaf singer inspired fans and the judges, and earned Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer when she performed an original song on the show in the summer of 2017.
  • Darci LynneThe 12-year-old ventriloquist got Mel B.’s Golden Buzzer when she sang a song with her puppet. At the beginning of her performance, she said her goal was to “keep ventriloquism alive.”
  • Courtney HadwinThe nervous 13-year-old went on stage but quickly wowed audiences when she started singing “Hard to Handle,” with many likening her to Janis Joplin. Simon Cowell’s reaction was priceless, and she ended up scoring Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer.
  • Dorothy WilliamsThe 90-year-old lady treated the judges and “AGT” fans to a little dance that took many by surprise. In the end, Nick Cannon ran over the judges table to give her the Golden Buzzer.
  • Angelica HaleThe 9-year-old Angelica Hale stunned the audiences with her own rendition of Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire.” The judges couldn’t stop smiling and in the end, guest judge Chris Hardwick pressed the Golden Buzzer.
  • Craig Lewis BandThe singing duo sang a cover of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down,” scoring the Golden Buzzer from guest judge Michael Bublé.
  • Light BalanceOne of the most epic performances to ever hit the “AGT” stage, Light Balance performed a stunning dance and light show to amazing songs — to the point where Tyra Banks couldn’t stop herself from hitting the Golden Buzzer.
  • Grace VanderWaalThen 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal scored the Golden Buzzer in 2016 when she wowed everyone with her ukulele and singing skills. She even performed an original song. She has since released her own EP and has performed at Madison Square Garden and various other benefit concerts.
  • Angel City Chorale We dare you to watch this performance and try not to get goosebumps. Olivia Munn hit the Golden Buzzer after barely getting through the act without tearing up.
  • Christian GuardinoThe 16-year-old got a standing ovation after his singing performance, and was awarded the Golden Buzzer by Howie Mandel.

From epic light shows to singing sensations, the NBC talent show has seen some stellar performances over the years

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Sharon Osbourne Shares Her ‘Own Problems’ With NBC Amid Gabrielle Union’s ‘AGT’ Drama

This arrives after Howard Stern and Jay Leno weighed in on the firing drama, with the former accusing Simon Cowell of having ‘orchestrated’ the ‘Bring It On’ actress’ firing.

AceShowbizSharon Osbourne is the latest celebrity to speak out about Gabrielle Union‘s firing from “America’s Got Talent“. The TV host, who was also a judge on the show in previous seasons, talked about the issue during the Monday, December 2 episode of “The Talk” while opening up about her own problems with NBC.

“It’s hard, because everybody’s experience on a show is different, and I was at that show for six years,” Sharon, who exited “AGT” after seven seasons in 2012, shared. “I didn’t get let go. However, I left. And that’s the truth. I left because of NBC, not because of the show. However, I had my own problems with the network.”

“I don’t know about any of her concerns about the show. Obviously, there wasn’t anybody of color on the panel when I was there, so I honestly can’t say,” she continued. “But when I was there it was, you know, a great show to work on. The crew and everybody was amazing to me, everybody, except the network.”

Co-host Sheryl Underwood later chimed in, showing support for Gabrielle. “I am always proud when someone in the workplace has the courage to stand up for what is right,” she said. “It’s something that we need to talk about… things that are appropriate and things that are inappropriate.”

Sharon previously revealed that her departure from “AGT” had something to do with her son Jack Osbourne, who was fired by emails two days before he was scheduled to work for reality TV series “Stars Earn Stripes“. I just can’t be fake,” she told the New York Post in 2013. “It’s discrimination, and it was badly handled.”

This arrives after Howard Stern and Jay Leno weighed in on the firing drama. “The Howard Stern Show” host slammed Simon Cowell, who serves as judge as well as executive producer of the NBC talent competition show, on his show, accusing him of having “orchestrated” Gabrielle’s firing. Meanwhile, Jay praised Gabrielle by saying that “she’s a great girl.”

Gabrielle, who was let go from “AGT” alongside Julianne Hough after one season, was said to be ruffling feathers by looking out for the staff and crew and wanting to maintain a healthy work environment for those on and off camera. It was also said that she received multiple notes over her “too black” hair styles and got an argument with Simon over his smoking habit.

It was also said that she was considering to take legal actions against the Peacock network.

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Eva Longoria Supports Gabrielle Union, Calls Out NBC After ‘AGT’ Firing

Eva Longoria is speaking out about Gabrielle Union‘s controversial firing from America’s Got Talent.

The 44-year-old Desperate Housewives star took to Instagram on Monday (December 2) to voice her support for the 47-year-old former judge and slam NBC.

“What @gabunion experienced on set at @NBC’s #AmericasGotTalent is unacceptable,” Eva Longoria wrote. “It’s time for @NBCUniversal to commit to long-term, concrete action to fix its toxic workplace culture and ensure safety and equity for all its workers. Add your name through @timesupnow Instagram story. #TimeUp on the imbalance of power. ✊🏼”

Time’s Up has created a petition asking “for NBC to stop protecting powerful men at the expense of its workers and address its toxic workplace culture, once and for all.”

“TIME’S UP applauds Union for her courage and once again calls on NBC to take these allegations seriously and take concrete steps to foster a safe and equitable workplace,” the group said in a statement along with the petition. “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.”

READ MORE: Former ‘AGT’ Judge Sharon Osbourne Speaks Out About Gabrielle Union’s Firing

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