The former America's Got Talent judge recently filed a complaint against NBC and Fremantle in which she detailed an alleged "toxic culture" on the show

By Aurelie Corinthios
July 08, 2020 09:50 AM
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Gabrielle Union has addressed NBC's efforts to create a safe workplace environment.

On Tuesday, the former America's Got Talent judge responded to a tweet from The Hollywood Reporter about the network's steps to address discrimination and harassment.

"Great start by NBC to recognize the need to not turn away & ignore racial & gender discrimination on programs like #AGT," she wrote. "More changes are needed however like stopping executives from intimidating talent from sharing their experience of racism in their own workplace investigations."

A spokesperson for NBC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

On Tuesday, NBCUniversal TV and Streaming chairman Mark Lazarus outlined the company's "policies and procedures designed to prevent discrimination and harassment" in a company-wide memo obtained by THR. In the memo, Lazarus committed to expanding protections for employees on programming produced both in-house and from third-party producers.

Some of the steps, per the memo, include "respectful workplace policies, training materials tailored to the various types of production, and additional channels through which workers can report workplace concerns."

The memo comes over a month after Union, 47, filed a complaint against NBCUniversal, AGT creator Simon Cowell and production companies Fremantle and Syco Entertainment, claiming that the media conglomerate did not do enough after she alerted them of "racially offensive conduct during the taping of America's Got Talent."

Union also alleged in the complaint that she was terminated from the show after just one season due to "her refusal to remain silent in the face of a toxic culture at AGT that included racist jokes, racist performances, sexual orientation discrimination, and excessive focus on female judges' appearances, including race-related comments," PEOPLE previously reported.

Gabrielle Union
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

"NBC did not 'stand' with her in 'outrage at acts of racism.' Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union’s complaints or even ask HR to get involved," her attorney, Bryan Freedman, previously said in a statement. "Rather, NBC stood against her and directed its 'outrage' at Ms. Union for whistleblowing about the racially offensive conduct she experienced while working for NBC on America's Got Talent."

In a statement, NBC responded to Union's complaint, saying, "The allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue. We took Ms. Union's concerns seriously, and engaged an outside investigator who found an overarching culture of diversity on the show. NBCUniversal remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect."

The filing came about seven months after Union and Julianne Hough were fired from AGT last November. Their exits launched an internal investigation of NBC, Fremantle and Syco. In a statement to PEOPLE in June, Fremantle, Syco and NBC said, "While the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved."

The statement also denied previous reports that Union's rotating hairstyles were labeled by production as "too black" for mass audiences.

"Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union's appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time. The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract."

The actress told Variety in June that she felt compelled to speak out about her experience on the show in an attempt to create a more inclusive Hollywood.

"If I can't speak out with the privilege that I have, and the benefits that my husband and I have, what is the point of making it?" she said. "What is the point of having a seat at the table and protecting your privilege when you're not doing s--- to help other people?"