Gabrielle Union Files Complaint Against NBC Universal & Simon Cowell 6 Months After ‘AGT’ Exit

Following allegations that she encountered racism on-set — including wearing hairstyles that were reportedly deemed ‘too black’ — Gabrielle Union has filed a discrimination complaint.

Gabrielle Union, 47, is taking action against against the producers of America’s Got Talent following her Nov. 2019 exit. The former judge — who appeared on the popular NBC series for just one season — filed a harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaint on Thursday, June 4 with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing our sister publication Variety reports. The move comes months after Gabrielle publicly alleged that she had experienced racism and a “toxic work culture” during her time at the show.

In the filing, which was made by her attorney Bryan Freedman, NBCUniversal and Simon Cowell‘s Syco productions are named, along with NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy. Gabrielle describes experiencing “racist jokes, racist performances, sexual orientation discrimination, and excessive focus on female judges’ appearances,” in addition to alleging that Telegdy threatened her if she spoke out about on-set racism.

While the filing is not a lawsuit, filings with the DFEH often precede legal cases. In an emailed statement to HollywoodLife on June 4, her attorney Bryan Freedman said, “When Gabrielle 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.’ Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union’s complaints or even ask HR to get involved.”

Freedman explained, “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.” The powerhouse lawyer went on to explain that the actions on-set were in “sharp contrast” to the networks recent statement about race. “In sharp contrast to NBC’s recent statement on race, what was truly an ‘outrage’ was the fact that Paul Telegdy, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, actually threatened Ms. Union in an attempt to silence her from telling the truth about racist actions that took place on the show,” he added.

“There is no place for this type of racial bullying in the workplace, and it is going to take more than a Tweet from NBC to demonstrate that NBC intends to create an environment free from racism,” Freedman concluded. HollywoodLife has reached out to representatives for Simon Cowell, NBCUniversal and Fremantle Media, but has not heard back as of publishing time.

The complaint comes just over six months after Gabrielle exited the series along with Julianne Hough, 31. Reports from Variety surfaced shortly after that Gabrielle had experienced racism and racial bias during her employment on the show, including being told that some of her hairstyles were “too black” for the AGT viewers. In addition, it was reported that Gabrielle had gone to NBC’s Human Resources department after comedian Jay Leno made an inappropriate joke targeted at the Asian community (the joke was cut before air).

“I signed up for the experience of being a part of a show that hails itself as the biggest stage in the world. Super diverse, and one about giving people an opportunity to shine where they otherwise probably wouldn’t…What could go wrong?” Gabrielle said in a cover story to Variety on May 27. “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.”

Shortly after the reports initial, Gabrielle’s hairstylist Larry Sims compiled a series of images of the Bring It On star on various red carpets. “Gabrielle…Too Black?” he wrote, adding “Nah… She’s FLAWLESS!!!” The mom-of-one reposted the video on Dec. 12, adding “Unapologetically me. Be comfortable and confident with your whole ass self. It might give others the fluuuxxx but never stop being you. You can shine on your own terms. And if you got something to say.” She went on to say, “I dont take notes rooted in anti-blackness. I love me as i am.”

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Gerard Butler Goes For a Malibu Bike Ride with Morgan Brown

Gerard Butler gets in a workout during a bike ride with his longtime girlfriend Morgan Brown on Thursday (June 4) in Malibu, Calif.

The 50-year-old actor has been living in Malibu for the past few months amid the COVID-19 quarantine and he has been taking advantage of everything that the area has to offer… including the beach!

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Gerard Butler

Earlier in the week, Gerard was spotted going surfing with his friend Joel Kinnaman, who was seen going shirtless and showing off his hot body.

Gerard hasn’t been active on social media for the past couple months. His last post was in early April to send his gratitude for medical workers who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Kanye West Just Launched a College Fund for George Floyd’s Daughter

Kanye West is helping make sure the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are taken care of as they fight for justice for their loved ones.

According to Variety, West has donated $2 million thus far to charities in support of Floyd, Taylor, and Arbery, and also has set up a college fund to cover the tuition for Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd. West has also reportedly offered to cover the legal fees for the families of Arbery and Taylor, and has promised to help financially support Black-owned businesses in his hometown of Chicago.

West’s donations comes after critics on Twitter questioned the rapper for remaining silent regarding the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of Floyd’s killing and the deaths of countless others. Though the Kanye of yesteryear would have notoriously taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on the tragedies, these days, West only spontaneously utilizes his social media accounts.

There is no official statement following the news of his donations, just some details revealed through his representative. And though the mogul himself has stayed relatively mum about matters, members of his family have spoken out regarding the heightened state of racial unrest in America, including his wife, Kim Kardashian West and sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner. Kardashian West took to Instagram on Monday to express her distress over seeing another Black life taken due to police brutality.

“For years, with every horrific murder of an innocent black man, woman, or child, I have always tried to find the right words to express my condolences and outrage, but the privilege I am afforded by the color of my skin has often left me feeling like this is not a fight that I can truly take on my own,” wrote Kardashian on Instagram. “Not today, not anymore. Like so many of you, I am angry. I am more than angry. I am infuriated and I am disgusted. I am exhausted by the heartbreak I feel seeing mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children suffering because their loved one was murdered or locked away unjustly for being black.”

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Inside Nicki Minaj’s sad real-life story

Nick Minaj is currently the wealthiest female rapper to ever live with a net worth of $100 million, according to HypeBeast. If that’s not enough to impress you, consider that she’s received ten Grammy nominations. Minaj is clearly a superstar. But her life hasn’t always been glitz, glam, and glory. Her upbringing was difficult, and in many ways tragic but not to be ignored. 

The rapper’s parents named her Onika Tanya Maraj when she was born in St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, but she now goes by nicknames like Nicki Lewinski, Nicki the Harajuku Barbie, Nicki The Ninja, Roman, Trinidadian Dolly Parton, Barbie, and Nicki Minaj, of course (via IMbd). The artist came to live in the states in the ’90s, settling in Queens, New York. Once the family got to the U.S., it wasn’t exactly the American dream. 

Nicki Minaj's sad childhood

Minaj told Rolling Stone, “When I first came to America, I would go in my room and kneel down at the foot of my bed and pray that God would make me rich so that I could take care of my mother. Because I always felt like if I took care of my mother, my mother wouldn’t have to stay with my father, and he was the one at the time, that was bringing us pain. We didn’t want him around at all, and so I always felt like being rich would cure everything, and that was always what drove me.”

According to the singer, her father had issues with drugs and alcohol and he was abusing her mother, selling their items for drug money, and once, even set their house on fire while her mom was still inside. Minaj said cops were a constant around the house, and she lived in constant fear for her mother.

Nicki Minaj has forgiven her father

In an interview with Nightline, Minaj admitted that she was afraid for her mother’s life, and that her father would threaten to kill her. When her dad found out she was letting the whole world in on his abuse he was crushed. Sources from the Minaj family claim that Nicki’s stories are grossly exaggerated. Her father admits to his tendencies toward angry outbursts but he admittedly insists it was not nearly as bad as the artist recalled in her interview with Nightline (via TMZ). Either way, the superstar says she has since forgiven her father and her father insists he loves her now just as much as he always has.

Nicki Minaj is healing

Minaj has healed immensely since childhood thanks to her sense of independence and strong moral compass. She often tells fans “know your worth” (via Goalcast). Need proof? Minaj tweets messages like this: “know your worth. I’ve been proposed to 3 times; asked by 4 boyfriends to have their child. Being emotionally, mentally, or physically abused just to crack a fake smile on the gram & show off a ring is not happiness. Being cheated on, humiliated, belittled… for the gram?”

It certainly takes a special person to share their trauma, grow from it, and then uplift others. We could all use a little more independence and self-respect! Luckily, superstars like Minaj show no matter what your background is, there’s always space to love yourself.

Nicki Minaj has major goals

In a 2011 interview with NY Daily News, Minaj said before she got her big break she “kept having doors slammed on my face, I felt like nothing was working. I had moved out on my own, and here I was thinking I’d have to go home. It was one dead end after another. At one point, I was, like, ‘What would happen if I just didn’t wake up?’ That’s how I felt. Like maybe I should just take my life?” 

Some doors began to open for the singer when she got gigs backup singing for local rappers in New York (via Republic Records). Shortly after, she started writing her own songs. Dirty Money CEO Fendi came across the rapper’s Myspace page and signed her. After that the doors began flying open. Minaj collaborated on a series of projects with Lil Wayne, and by 2010 she released her first single “Massive Attack.” Just a couple of months later, she won Best Hip-Hop Female at the BET awards. The successes kept coming, and the star has been growing exponentially ever since. 

She has a much sunnier outlook on life these days because she’s making it. Minaj had big dreams not so long ago, and those dreams keep becoming a reality. Here’s to strong female icons like Nicki Minaj!

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Kanye West Donates $2M To Help The Families Of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor & Ahmaud Arbery

After fans noticed that Kanye West hadn’t said a single word about the tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, the rapper put his money where his mouth is by donating millions!

Kanye West, 42, opened up his bank account on Thursday (June 4) and donated $2 million to charities associated with Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, the three recent black men, and women killed by police officers. Kanye also pledged to cover legal costs for the Arbery and Taylor families, a rep for the rapper told Variety, and he’s set up a college fund to cover tuition for George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. On top of this, a rep for Ye says that the Chicago native will be aiding black-owned businesses in his hometown with financial contributions.

This move comes after fans noticed that the typically vocal Kanye had remained uncharacteristically silent on the killings of Floyd, Taylor, Arbery, and Tony McDade, a black Trans man in Tallahassee. Ebro Darden, a radio personality/executive/hip-hop journalist, inquired in the early hours of June 4, “And furthermore, why is Kanye so quiet?” “I think everybody is good with that,” replied journalist  Jemele Hill, per Uproxx. Others noticed that Kanye – a loyal supporter of Donald Trump – hadn’t thrown his support behind the nationwide Black Lives Matters protests or called for the three other officers in George Floyd’s killing to be charged. “this is the first time @kanyewest has been silent in his whole life, and god is it deafening,” one fan tweeted.

While Kanye has been silent up to this point, his wife hasn’t. Kim Kardashian responded to news of a teenage girl in Minneapolis getting “disfigured” after getting  “shot at point-blank” with a rubber bullet. “This is heartbreaking and so disturbing. Does anyone know how I can get in contact with her? I would love to help her with her medical care if she needs it,” tweeted Kim, 39. Kim also was quick to demand #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd across her social media platforms.

“For years, with every horrific murder of an innocent black man, woman, or child, I have always tried to find the right words to express my condolences and outrage,” wrote Kim in a May 30 Instagram post,” but the privilege I am afforded by the color of my skin has often left me feeling like this is not a fight that I can truly take on as my own. Not today, not anymore. Like so many of you, I am angry. I am more than angry. I am infuriated, and I am disgusted. … Even though I will never know the pain and suffering they have endured, or what it feels like to try to survive in a world plagued by systemic racism, I know I can use my own voice to help amplify those voices that have been muffled for too long.”

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Amy Grant Undergoes Heart Surgery to Correct Condition From Birth

On the mend. Amy Grant underwent successful open-heart surgery to correct a birth defect doctors discovered years later, Us Weekly confirms.

“From Team Amy – with all that is going on in our world that needs our collective prayer, please also join us in praying for Amy this week as she has heart surgery to correct her PAPVR condition,” a Wednesday, June 3, post on the 59-year-old singer’s Facebook page read.

Later in the day, Grant’s team updated fans on her post-operation progress. “Thank you for so many prayers today,” they wrote. “Amy is out of surgery and the doctor said it could not have gone better. We would ask for continued prayers over the days, weeks and months to come as she makes a full recovery… xo.”

The Christian musician’s rep reiterated the success of the surgery in a statement to Us. “She had open heart surgery to correct a condition from birth the doctors discovered during a heart checkup called PAPVR,” her rep said. “Thankfully the doctor said it could not have gone better. We’re praying for a full and easy recovery over the next few days, weeks and months to come.”

Grant revealed in February that she was diagnosed with the condition. “[My doctor] suggested I have a check up [sic] because of my dad’s heart history,” she shared on Twitter at the time. “As always, I am feeling great, but the battery of tests he put me through show that I have had a heart condition since birth. The first good news is that I am completely asymptomatic. The second good news is that it’s fixable, so instead of concerts and camping trips this summer, I am going to take care of my heart.”

PAPVR causes oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to mix with oxygen-poor blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. The defect results in some of the pulmonary veins that carry blood from the lungs to the heart flowing into other blood vessels or the heart’s upper right chamber. The blood is supposed to enter the upper left chamber of the heart.

Grant married Vince Gill in March 2000. The couple are parents of daughter Corrina, 19. The 63-year-old crooner also shares daughter Jenny, 38, with ex-wife Janis Oliver while Grant has three children with ex-husband Gary Chapman.

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Myka & James Stauffer are being investigated by authorities for ‘rehoming’ their son

I was just looking through Myka Stauffer’s Instagram to find some of the “inspo mommy” photos she posted of her family when her family included Huxley, the son she and her husband James adopted from China. Myka and James raised Huxley for three years. Huxley has autism and some behavioral issues and so Myka and James “rehomed” him, but don’t worry, Huxley “wanted” to be rehomed, and he can make that decision even though he’s only 4 years old and developmentally disabled. Anyway, as I was saying, I was looking through her Instagram and guess what this absolutely awful woman has done? She’s gone through her posts and deleted all of them which included Huxley. I can’t even believe how f–king grotesque these people are. Huxley, the child she adopted and raised for three years, no longer gets to be part of her inspo-mommy-Instagram life. She doesn’t even want to see him on her IG.

So, true story, everyone is appalled by the Stauffers and what they did. Myka and James had corporate sponsors for their YouTube channel and those sponsors are dropping them hard. Not only that, but local authorities are now looking into this whole “rehoming” issue, which sounds a lot like human trafficking.

Local authorities are investigating the status of Huxley, the adopted child who was “rehomed” by his YouTuber parents Myka and James Stauffer. Last week the Ohio-based parenting vloggers announced in a video that they gave up the 4-year-old child they adopted from China more than two years ago. “Numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit. He needed more,” said a tearful Myka in the clip.

Now, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and “several other agencies” are investigating the case to locate the child, according to a new report from Buzzfeed News.

“We are investigating, but it is an active case and, as such, we cannot divulge too much information just yet,” Tracy Whited, who manages community and media relations for the department, told the outlet. In their original family-breakup video, Myka said that an adoption agency helped find Huxley his new home. “He’s thriving, he’s doing really well, and his new mommy has medical, professional training,” she said. The Stauffers did not reveal the names of Huxley’s new parents and urged viewers to respect their privacy.

However, a statement from their lawyers after the couple began to receive stark backlash contradicted that narrative. “To be clear this did NOT include any considerations for placement in the foster system, but rather to hand-select a family who is equipped to handle Huxley’s needs,” the statement read.

Val Turner, a spokesperson for Franklin County Children Services, confirmed to Buzzfeed that Huxley was not in their custody.

“The adoption for the Stauffer family is an international adoption, which does not involve our agency. It appears that [Myka] made arrangements with an individual person, versus an agency,” said Turner.

Myka, who was dropped by some of her sponsors after the backlash, had previously said on her YouTube channel that she and James used the World Association for Parents and Children to originally adopt Huxley from China, according to the report. The agency could not comment as to whether they were involved in the child’s second adoption, but did point out that this case was uncommon.

[From The NY Post]

The best case scenario for all of this is that Myka and James Stauffer illegally trafficked their legal son Huxley into a loving family. The worst case scenario is that “trafficking a child to a better environment with zero oversight” is only a horrible cover story for something a million times worse. I’m glad the local police are investigating and I hope that if illegality is uncovered – and I don’t see how the Stauffers did NOT do something illegal – then they are actually punished for this tragic situation. You can’t just give away a child – excuse me, “rehome” a child – when it gets inconvenient. And you especially can’t rehome a child through some kind of shady (human trafficking) scheme.

Photos courtesy of Myka Stauffer’s Instagram.

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Lucy Alexander: ‘Cross’ Homes Under The Hammer star says her ‘body’s in shock’ in video

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Lucy Alexander, 49, was having a mare on Wednesday after taking her dog for a walk in the forest near her home. She revealed via an Instagram live video that her “body’s in shock” after getting out and doing some exercise, since questioning whether she should “exercise more” and “eat less.”

My body has gone into a shock from a walk even..!!!

Lucy Alexander

But the “lovely” afternoon walk admiring the many wild flowers in the woods, took a turn for the worst as a nightmare began.

“I’m just so cross!” she exclaimed in the video.

“Look!” she said as she zoomed her camera onto a nasty looking blister that had popped up on her heel.

She wrote alongside it: “My body has gone into a shock from a walk even!”

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She also revealed that her BBC One show The Customer Is Always Right was up for a Royal Television Society (RTS) Award.

The consumer based show follows budding entrepreneurs from across the UK as they try to make a success of their inventions.

As they put their products to the test, they are scored by potential customers to determine the winner.

“We’re up for an award tonight, The Customer Is Always Right my BBC One show, is up for best daytime,” she said.

“An RTS award, so I’ll let you know how we get on!”

The awards ceremony was held via a video live link, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucy’s show was up against Kristie Allsopp Channel 4 crafting programs, Kristie’s Celebrity Craft Masters and Kristie’s Handmade Christmas, which won the category.

Recently, the Homes Under The Hammer star took to Instagram to share a touching tribute about her late mum, Kay Alexander, who died in February earlier this year.

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On what would have been her birthday, Lucy and her family raised a glass to on the special day to remember her.

“Raising a glass to you mum,” the property expert wrote.

“We’ve all had a wonderful day in memory of you – celebrating your birthday & the unveiling of your memorial bench.”

She added: “We love and miss you. And you are ALWAYS in our hearts.”

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  • Lucy Alexander celebrates her late mother’s birthday

It comes after the property expert confirmed her mum passed away from cancer earlier this year.

The TV star shared on her Twitter page: “My mum sadly passed away last night.

“She battled cancer to the end. I’ve lost my mate – she was my everything.”

Lucy went on to say: “RIP Mum. I’m waiting for your signs.”

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Ben Affleck & Ana de Armas Join Fellow Protestors at Black Lives Matter March in L.A.

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas are showing their support for Black Lives Matter.

The 47-year-old actor/director and the 32-year-old actress attended the protest on Tuesday (June 2) in Venice, Calif.

In a photo shared by Save Venice, Ben held two signs – one that read “Black Lives Matter” and the other read “Save First Baptist Church of Venice” – while Ana clapped her hands.

The new couple joined fellow protestors to denounce the demolition of the First Baptist Church of Venice. The church was built in 1910 and has been a landmark building witin the African American community.

In February 2017, the church was sold to a private holding company, who plans on remodel it, according to LA Curbed.

“Ben wants to continue to be a model for his children. They talk about these important issues,” a friend of Ben‘s shared with People. Ben shares three kids with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner: daughters Violet, 14, and Seraphina, 11; and son Samuel, 8.

A source recently opened up about how Ana is a “great influence” on Ben. She has even been spending time with his kids so that they can get to know her.

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Piers Morgan: Nick Ferrari on ‘clever’ move by GMB host ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’

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Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, 55, is known for being vocal on current affairs whether on the ITV show or on social media. However, Nick Ferrari, 61, has since revealed he is still slightly bothered by the ITV favourite beating him to a trick in March.

Nick, who is a British radio host on LBC, is best known for his breakfast show which brings in 1.4 million weekly listeners.

But the radio presenter admitted he hates to miss a good news angle even when it’s Piers.

Nick referred to the moment the GMB host offered to pay the parking tickets for frontline NHS staff following the coronavirus pandemic.

The radio DJ said it was not only “brilliant journalism” but a “well executed idea”.

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Speaking in a new interview with Radio Times, Nick said: “I get really angry when people get great stories, or think of things I haven’t thought of.”

Referring to Piers’ gesture, he commented: “That was clever, saying he would cover nurses’ tickets.

“Classic tabloid journalism, a brilliant idea, well executed. Why didn’t I think of that?”

Back in March, Piers vowed to pay any NHS workers’ parking fines on GMB, slamming bosses for handing them out during the coronavirus crisis.

The broadcaster said all staff charges should be waived for staff and promised to pay them himself.

Speaking on GMB at the time, Piers said: “I will say now, to any health worker during the future of this crisis, however long it lasts, if any of you get a parking ticket, at a hospital where you’re working, I will pay it for you.”

Less than a day later, the government announced it would stop these payments.

Elsewhere, Nick hit back at a caller after they suggested schools shouldn’t reopen.

Schools reopened in England this week, while children are also returning across much of the UK as the coronavirus lockdown measures are eased.

But a listener called into LBC and insisted he would refuse to send his children back to school at this time.

The caller said: “The government says one thing and the scientists say another. We believe the scientists are right.

“You can’t have four-, five- and six-year-olds in a controlled environment and telling them to stay still.”

Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

But Nick claimed if schools remained closed it would do “untold damage” to children.

He replied: “Why do you think they’ve gone back across most of western Europe then?

“You’re clearly of the school-of-thought that we just write off this school year.

“The untold damage you will do to the two million vulnerable children for whom school is a place of refuge, not just a place of learning, doesn’t seem to register.”

The host’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

Nick’s LBC show airs weekdays at 7am.

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