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Gabrielle Union Files Discrimination Complaint Against “AGT”

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Actress and former “America’s Got Talent” judge Gabrielle Union filed a discrimination complaint last Thursday against AGT production companies Fremantle Productions North America and Syco Entertainment, judge and creator Simon Cowell, and Universal Television. Within the complaint, Union addresses that she was threatened by an NBC executive when she attempted to report issues of racism and sexism on set.

What We Know:

  • Gabrielle Union appeared on season 14 of America’s Got Talent with co-judges Julianne Hough, Howie Mandell, and Simon Cowell. The discrimination complaint, which typically acts as a precursor for a lawsuit, comes more than six months after Union left the popular talent competition show, amid claims that the environment was “toxic”.

America’s Got Talent Season 14 Judges

  • The complaint, filed Thursday, comes one day after NBC released a statement supporting #BlackLivesMatter, saying, “We stand with our Black employees, colleagues, partners, and creators in outrage at acts of racism”. Union’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said NBC’s statement directly contradicts Union’s experience and that when “Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of ‘America’s Got Talent’, NBC did not ‘stand’ with her in ‘outrage at acts of racism” as they did not promptly investigate her claims or allow HR to get involved.

  • Within the complaint, filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Union alleges in February she was threatened by NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy in an attempt to prevent her from speaking up. The claim says that NBC and Telegdy directed outrage at her for whistleblowing about the racist actions and conduct that she witnessed and experience while working for NBC on ‘America’s Got Talent’. She also alleges that is the reason behind her contract not being renewed.
  • The opening claim of the discrimination complaint reads, “sadly, what led to Union’s termination was 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”. This contradicts a statement previously released by NBC that Union’s contract was not renewed because they wanted to “refresh” the judging panel.
  • The discrimination complaint includes extensive and explosive reports of the culture of toxicity at NBC and various incidents of racial insensitivity and racially offensive comments. Union describes multiple instances where she reported racist jokes or comments to producers and no action was taken.
    • Union alleges that she was often criticized for her hair being “too wild”, an “unsolicited opinion” that was not production-based but was later interpreted to mean that her hairstyles and looks were “too Black” for the AGT audience.
    • Union claims that representation of blackface from contestants were approved by production and allowed on stage to perform and compete in the show.
    • The legal filing also goes on to cite numerous alleged incidents of racist comments and jokes made by judge Howie Mandel and guest judge Jay Leno in which Union reported the incidents and urged for producers to take action and hold both men accountable, but the incidents were ignored.
  • In the wake of Union’s departure from the show and before an official complaint was filed, NBC, Fremantle, and Syco announced an investigation into the show’s workplace environment conducted by an outside firm. The investigation found Union’s claims to be unfounded and that neither gender nor race played a role in the decision to not renew her contract.
    • The discrimination claim alleges that NBC made changes to the findings of the investigation before presenting them to her on March 4. It goes in-depth to say “the investigator acknowledged, among other things, that she had already made changes to her preliminary findings at the direction of NBC and Fremantle” and therefore should not be accepted as a proper investigation.
  • A statement released by representatives of NBC in response to the claim reads, “the allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue. NBCUniversal remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.”  NBC, Fremantle, and Syco issued a joint statement in response to the discrimination complaint Thursday, saying “while the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved.” No details of these new processes are currently available.
  • Union has stayed strong in her allegations, saying, “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?” Union continues to speak out against racism and discrimination across her social media, not just at NBC but in our society as a whole.

“At the end of all this, my goal is real change — and not just on this show but for the larger parent company. It starts from the top down” Gabrielle Union told Variety last week. Adding, “my goal is to create the happiest, most high-functioning, inclusive, protected, and healthy example of a workplace.”

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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Naya Rivera’s Family Scores Huge Victory In Wrongful Death Battle Over Tragic Drowning

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The path has been cleared for Naya Rivera’s family to sue Ventura County for wrongful death after the singer died on July 8, 2020 while boating in Lake Piru with her three-year-old son, Josey.

via: Radar Online

According to court documents, the judge presiding over the suit against Ventura County shut down the defendant’s attempt to block Naya’s family from collecting punitive damages.

Back in November, Naya’s ex-husband Ryan filed a lawsuit against Ventura County over the tragic 2020 drowning incident. The actress had rented a pontoon boat at Lake Piru.

Her son was found sleeping alone on the boat hours later. A massive search was launched, and her body was eventually found. Investigators found Naya and her son were swimming, but she did not get back on the boat.

Her son said she threw him onto the boat but then she disappeared. In his lawsuit, Ryan, who filed on behalf of their son, accused Ventura County of not complying with safety standards.

He claims the boat was “not equipped with a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, an anchor, a radio or any security mechanisms to prevent swimmers from being separated from their boats, nor any flotation or lifesaving devices.�

He says this is in violation of California law. Ryan claims the lake had no signs warning of the dangerous conditions of the lake. He also says the person who rented the boat to his ex did not warn either to wear a life vest. The county denies that claim.

Ventura County denied all claims they were responsible for the incident and moved to dismiss the case. The defendants recently asked the court to block Ryan and Naya’s family from seeking punitive damages, which could be millions. In the recent decision, the judge denied the request.

The order reads, “The allegations of specific statutory violations regarding safety equipment and noncompliance with the conditional use permit regarding signage, as well as allegations that defendant knew of the dangers of the lake, and had received complaints from other patrons, that over two dozen individuals had died in the lake, that Parks and Recreation failed to instruct Ms. Rivera to wear her life vest, failed to outfit the boat with a flotation device, and failed to outfit the boat with an anchor which could have prevented Ms.Rivera from being separated from her boat and ultimately drowning.�

The judge said the allegations presented in the suit are “sufficient for purposes of pleading to (arguably) reflect “despicable conduct� with a “willful and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others.�

“The allegations include that it was the officers and directors of Parks & Recreation Management who received the complaints and “decided to ignore� them,� he noted.

Hopefully it brings the family some peace.

The post Naya Rivera’s Family Scores Huge Victory In Wrongful Death Battle Over Tragic Drowning appeared first on LOVEBSCOTT.

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Cardi B Officiated Same-Sex Couple: ‘This Was Such a Fulfilling Thing to Do’ [Video]

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Cardi B served as the officiant to a beautiful same-sex wedding ahead of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

via: Complex

In the latest episode of Cardi Tries—the rapper’s Facebook Messenger series—Cardi is joined by That’s So Raven star Raven-Symoné as she officiates a same-sex wedding in California. The episode, released in time for National Coming Out Day, sees Cardi officiate the ceremony for newly weds Brandi and Shannon, as Raven is their ringbearer.

“By the power invested in me by the state of California and my online course, I now pronounce you wife and wife,� Cardi declared.

During the episode, Raven spoke about what being at the ceremony alongside Cardi meant to her, sharing that it “reminded me of my wedding day when I really wanted to see my wife in a beautiful wedding dress.�

Cardi also opened up to Raven about her own wedding to Offset in 2017, saying that she might be ready to have a “wedding-wedding now.�

“I got married in my bedroom … I do wish I had a bigger wedding because I’m very flamboyant, so I do want the whole dress and the whole cake and everything,� she said. “I didn’t even have a ring, so I just didn’t feel like I was married because I didn’t have the whole shabangabang.�

After the episode, which you can watch on Facebook here, Cardi took to Twitter to share with her fans that she is indeed licensed to marry, adding what we already know: She does “it all.�

“By the way WORLD I’m licensed to marry people ….sooo yea,� Cardi tweeted. “I do it all and this was such a fulfilling thing to do and Raven was soo fun I was sooo starstruck.�

Happy National Coming Out Day for everyone who chooses to live their truth.

The post Cardi B Officiated Same-Sex Couple: ‘This Was Such a Fulfilling Thing to Do’ [Video] appeared first on LOVEBSCOTT.

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Diddy Leaves Flirty Comments On Yung Miami’s New Thirst Trap Amid Joie Chavis Romance Rumors [Photo + Video]

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It looks like Diddy still has his eyes on Yung Miami amid rumors he’s dating Joie Chavis. After Yung Miami posted new thirs trap on social media, Diddy couldn’t help but leave flirty comments on it.

via: Rap-Up

After the two were spotted getting cozy earlier this year, the Bad Boy is once again showing the City Girl love. Miami posted a series of sexy pics on Instagram over the weekend, which had Diddy feeling some type of way.

“AWWWW SHIIIIIIT !!!!� an excited Puff commented on the thirst trap, along with the flame and sunglasses face emoji.

He also added, “SHAWTY WOP!!�

This is not the first time the pair has sparked speculation over their relationship. In August, Miami shared a video of herself seated in Diddy’s lap while drinking his DeLeon tequila. Prior to that, the rumored couple showed PDA as they held hands while attending a birthday party for Quality Control CEO Pierre “Pee� Thomas in Atlanta.

This came just around one month after Miami unfollowed Chavis. Miami took the move after the latter was caught on camera cozying up to the hip-hop mogul while on a romantic yacht vacation.

The post Diddy Leaves Flirty Comments On Yung Miami’s New Thirst Trap Amid Joie Chavis Romance Rumors [Photo + Video] appeared first on LOVEBSCOTT.

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