America's Got Talent Controversy: Howard Stern Talks Gabrielle Union

Jay Leno Gabrielle Union

Jay Leno Gabrielle UnionMore

News broke on November 22 that Union and Julianne Hough - who joined the season 14 AGT judging panel in February, replacing Mel B and Heidi Klum - would not be returning for the show's 15th season.

According to a report by Vulture, Union complained about Cowell smoking indoors; a remark made during taping by guest judge Jay Leno she deemed to be a racist that did not make it to air; and misgendering of contestants.

NBC, Syco Entertainment, Fremantle said in a statement to Peopleover the weekend they are working with Union to "hear more about her concerns". Union's contract was not renewed, with multiple reports describing behind-the-scenes clashes between Union and the show's producers over what was described as a "toxic" workplace culture.

Stern went on to parse some of Union's complaints, taking particular issue with the complaint about Leno's joke about dog meat being served in Korean restaurants.

Union also soon learned of the joke and allegedly urged producers to report the joke to NBC's human resources department in an effort to bring awareness to the problematic issue, three sources told Variety. It was eventually cut by producers from the August 6 episode.

Representatives for Cowell did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

"We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate". Not only did Union reportedly endure and witness racist and inappropriate behavior - including racially-insensitive comments and excessive criticism about her physical appearance - but it also appears she was punished for speaking out: the company labeled her as "difficult' before ousting her from the show altogether", Tchen said.

The article also claimed that Union expressed concerns over an incident during auditions in which she believed a white male performer crossed a line in portraying people of colour.

The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has launched an investigation into the claims of a "toxic culture" on set of America's Got Talent (AGT), following Gabrielle Union's exit from the show.

He continued in a tweet, "I am still waiting on a good answer to that question". "I'm looking forward to what the future holds".

Newly appointed Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen decried what she observed as a "pattern" within NBC as an institution - one that protects powerful men and retaliates against women who speak out, she said.

Last week, Union thanked fans for their support, writing on Twitter, "So many tears, so much gratitude. Humbled and thankful, forever".

Latest News