After a Variety report claimed that Gabrielle Union was forced from America’s Got Talent after pointing out several instances of racism on set—including a joke made by Jay Leno and a performer in what appeared to be blackface—SAG-AFTRA launched an official investigation into the incidents. Union has since made public statements alluding to her exit, while sources claim she feels she was fired for standing up to the executives at NBC and the producers of AGT.
Mere weeks after Union’s initial departure, TMZ reports that Sofia Vergara has met with AGT producers at Fremantle Media. A meeting Wednesday in Los Angeles, which sources claim she was 20 minutes late to, reportedly went for over two hours. The allure of landing a host like Vergara makes sense, if approached from a cold-hearted business mindset: She has a massive pre-existing audience, Modern Family is wrapping its last season, and it would be a big score for NBC, who would pull one of rival ABC’s biggest stars from them.
However, no record of the meeting yet exists, and the discussions that transpired are based solely on speculation. But I would seriously question the judgement of both Vergara and her agent if this was a route they pursued post-Modern Family. Gabrielle Union has the support of the media, the largest acting union in the country, and the public. And not only is Fremantle Media being investigated for its actions on AGT, SAG-AFTRA has expanded their probe to include Starz’s American Gods, which recently fired Orlando Jones. In a statement to Variety this morning, SAG-AFTRA said:
“After initial meetings with Gabrielle Union and her representatives about her experiences on America’s Got Talent, and after learning more about Orlando Jones’s experience on American Gods, SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation of Fremantle Media. Our enforcement actions are handled confidentially to protect the members involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the affected members request that we do so. We have nothing further to report at this time.”
AGT is more than toxic at this point, and taking a job on it goes against any concept of solidarity that still exists among women in Hollywood. I hope that in this press cycle, Vergara and her team make the sensible decision to stay away. [TMZ]
The consequences of our pointing circle continue to unfurl, as Us Weekly reports that Justin Timberlake hasn’t been “fully forgiven” by Jessica Biel for holding hands with co-star Alisha Wainwright in November. Sources tell the tabloid: “Justin and Jessica are focused on mending any issues in their relationship right now, but Jessica is still in a place where she’s very hurt and upset with Justin. She hasn’t fully forgiven him and isn’t letting him off easy.” Good for you, Jessica!
Shortly after the news broke, I wrote about a source that told multiple outlets that Wainwright and Timberlake are like “brother and sister” and “just friends.” The insistence that there was literally nothing to worry about made me suspect it was someone in Timberlake’s camp. (And I still do!) But if Biel has yet to forgive him, maybe there was some validity to speculation that she found the behavior “completely inappropriate,” regardless of Timberlake’s longwinded and meandering apology.
Speaking of, when will Wainwright get an apology in all of this? I maintain, some weeks on, that there is a power imbalance between Timberlake and Wainwright, and she has absolutely more to lose with her reputation and career. (She might also have asked Timberlake to leave her name out of his mouth, a power move I absolutely respect!) [Us Weekly]
I’m shaking my ass in a Christmas-y way.
- I know my irony-poisoned heart prevents me from showing genuine displays of emotion too often, but Dwayne Wade seems like a good parent to me. [People]
- Oh, Prince William and Kate Middleton are beefing-beefing. [TMZ]
- This Christmas song co-writer is feeling left out in the snow. [Us Weekly]
- That Prince Philip dude is in the hospital. [Just Jared]
- The Bachelorette lady said some things. [People]