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Dwayne Wade Wants A ‘Good Reason’ Why Gabrielle Union Was Fired From ‘America’s Got Talent’

Gabrielle Union will not return to the next season of America’s Got Talent, and her husband, Dwayne Wade, wants to know why. Union will reportedly not return to America’s Got Talent: The Champions for its second season, and there are rumblings that the move is more than just an ordinary staffing change.

Wade tweeted a long thread about the decision and his disappointment that she would not return to the show, praising her work and questioning why NBC decided not to renew her contract.

Wade says he wants a “good answer” for why she was fired, but also cryptically praised his wife for “standing up for what she stands for.”

Union tweeted a message of thanks to her supporters, but didn’t elaborate on why the decision was made.

The tweets come after Variety reported on Tuesday about a “toxic” workplace environment that Union apparently wanted changed. The Variety story reported that Union wanted staffers to take an incident to NBC human resources, specifically a joke made by Jay Leno that offended some Asian-American staffers.

While taping, Leno made a crack about a painting on display in a hallway of Simon Cowell, the show’s executive producer and judge, surrounded by his dogs. Leno joked that the pets looked like something one would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant,” four people present for the taping told Variety.

Individuals at the long-running program found the joke to be offensive — especially for what one insider described as “the very few Asian staffers” employed by the show, one of whom was present when Leno spoke the line directly to camera.

Variety reported that the joke was cut, but that Union was particularly supportive of staffers who were upset about the line and wanted it reported to NBC.

Union, a new hire for the 14th season of “America’s Got Talent,” urged producers to report the joke to human resources at NBC, multiple insiders familiar with the show said. Her argument was that production needed to understand why the joke might offend the staff and audience of “AGT,” according to three people who overheard conversations with Union and producers. The issue of reporting to human resources was specifically raised with an NBC executive on set, but several insiders said it was never escalated to that department.

Union’s firing was reported in that same article, and the implication was that the two matters were related. Vulture reported that show producer Simon Cowell labeled her as “difficult.” And Wade’s tweets of support certainly add to that speculation, but NBC gave a statement to People on Tuesday that judges are simply “regularly refreshed” as the show moves into its double-digit seasons.

“America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”

Other celebrities have supported Union since the decision was made public, including Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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