Gabrielle Union poses with AGT stop-and-repeat. | Photo: People
Gabrielle Union poses with AGT stop-and-repeat. | Photo: People

Gabrielle Union Says It’s ‘Not Shocking at All’ a White Showrunner Would Avoid Casting People of Color

The actress responded to a tweet that said “a white producer/showrunner once said she only writes shows about families so she’s not forced to cast POC actors”

Gabrielle Union says she doesn’t find it “shocking at all” that some producers and showrunners avoid casting people of color.

On Wednesday night, Insecure actress Sujata Day wrote on Twitter that “a white producer/showrunner once said she only writes shows about families so she’s not forced to cast POC actors.”

“As shocking as this may seem, not shocking at all. Ahem,” Union, 47, wrote in response to Day’s tweet.

While the producer/showrunner’s identity remained anonymous, Union is no stranger to calling out racism in the entertainment industry.

Earlier this month, Union filed a complaint against NBCUniversal, AGT creator Simon Cowell, Fremantle and Syco, 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.”

“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,” Union’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, previously said in a statement.

Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, LLP

“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,” Freedman added.

Union also alleges 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.

In a statement, NBC responded to Union’s complaint. “The allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue,” the network said. “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.”

RELATED VIDEO: Gabrielle Union Opens Up About AGT Investigation and Simon Cowell’s on-Set Smoking

The filing comes about seven months after Union and Julianne Hough were fired from AGT last November. The women’s exit launched an internal investigation of NBC and production companies Fremantle and Syco Entertainment.

In a recent appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Union said that she participated in the investigation because she thought it would be “independent” — but found that not to be the case.

“I decided to participate in this investigation. … Silly me, I thought ‘independent’ was independent. But when NBC and [producers] Fremantle and Syco pay for that investigation, they control it,” she told Noah. “They turn over what they believe to be inflammatory things, or things that are not advantageous to me.”

Gabrielle Union | Photo: ASTRID STAWIARZ/GETTY
Gabrielle Union | Photo: ASTRID STAWIARZ/GETTY

“There has to be an increase in representation across the board from the top to the bottom,” Union added.

The actress told Variety last month that she felt compelled to speak out about her experience on AGT.

“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? It’s absolutely terrifying to speak truth to power about anything. I’m trying not to be terrified, and some days are better than others.”

“I know it’s scary to stick your neck out, and get an ounce of power and have to share it,” she added. “It’s not what we’re taught, but you don’t have to sacrifice your soul to do it. There’s another way, and I’m committed to finding it.”

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