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A Complete Timeline of the Gabrielle Union-America’s Got Talent Saga

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In late November it was revealed that actress Gabrielle Union had been fired from her spot as a judge on the NBC show America’s Got Talent, but troubling reports of her exit have caused everyone from Janelle Monae to Howard Stern to weigh in on the controversy. Here’s a complete timeline of everything we know.

November 22, 2019 – Variety Magazine announces NBC will not renew Union’s contract

In addition to Union’s exit, it is revealed fellow judge Julianne Hough will also not be returning to the popular television show. Male judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and Terry Crews all expected to remain on the roster.

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Quarter Finals 1” Episode 1412 — Pictured: (l-r) Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

November 24, 2019 – News of ‘toxic culture’ at AGT hits the internet

Sources with direct knowledge of the culture at AGT describe the now-infamous joke that put Union at odds with show producers. During a guest appearance, comedian Jay Leno joked that a picture of Simon Cowell with his dogs reminded him of something “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.” The actress learned of the joke and explained to producers this joke would not be well-received particularly by Asian crewmembers and viewers. She reportedly urged producers and an unnamed NBC executive to scrap the offensive joke and report it to the network’s human resources department. The line was ultimately thrown out, but a formal report or complaint was never filed with HR.

SANTA MONICA, CA – JULY 11: Gabrielle Union attends Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports 2019 at Barker Hangar on July 11, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Further reports emerged describing Union and Hough receiving “excessive notes” on their appearance, with Union in particular getting regularly coached on her hairstyles being “too black.”

November 26, 2019 – Julianne Hough and NBC deny allegations

Julianne Hough released a statement claiming she “loved working with the cast, crew, and producers and the claims are not “accurate to her experience.” She goes on to say “I am happy continuing my working relationship with NBC.”

The network echoed her statement with a vehement denial of all allegations. 

November 28, 2019 – Celebrities show support for Union

As the news of NBC’s culture made its waves, celebrities voiced their support for Union. Stars like Janelle Monae, Ellen Pompeo, and democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro, among many, voiced their opinions on the matter in favor of the ousted actress.

December 1, 2019 – Jay Leno speaks out, NBC releases new statement 

The comedian at the center of the alleged racist joke spoke of nothing but his fondness of Union. “I love Gabrielle Union, she’s a great girl. I really enjoyed working with her.” When asked whether he uttered the joke on the NBC show, he refused to answer. 

For its part, NBC released a new statement vowing commitment to “ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees.” The network also stated it is working with the actress’ representatives to hear her concerns and address them as necessary.

Credit: Courtesy of NBC

December 2, 2019 – Howard Stern gives his two cents

To add fuel to Union’s fire, Stern made very choice comments on his show seemingly backing up Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough and trashing Simon Cowell. “He sets it up so that the men stay. No matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are… He constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks.”

Phew! That was a lot to keep up with and somehow we have a feeling this drama isn’t over yet. Only time will tell how steep the fallout will be. What do you think about all this? Give us your thoughts below.

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Tiffany Haddish Does the Big Chop on IG Live

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Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish just took to Instagram Live to do the big chop for all to see! Recently she’s been teasing us with the idea of her chopping off her faux locs, something many Black women are doing in the midst of this natural hair renaissance.

In the short live session, which you can find below, Haddish reaffirmed her decision to cut her hair, and was even a little confused as to why folks were shocked she was doing this. “What is y’all tripping off of? They acting like this sh*t ain’t gonna grow back,” she said.

As she kept cutting, she reminded viewers that she had been toying with the idea for years and finally decided to do it. The actress snipped away as she told us all, “People be thinking I just be running my mouth. When I say things I means it. Who wanna buy a loc?”

Haddish always has jokes for us, even if they are problematic at times. Following rapper Kanye West’s announcement that he was running for President in 2020, she took to Twitter to announce her own candidacy for the office, in a total spoof of West’s tweet. Her running mate? Why, legendary comedian Dave Chappelle, of course.

Featured Image: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.

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Rich Dad, Poor Behavior: 50 Cent and Lil Wayne Joke About ‘Exotic Women’, Daughter Responds.

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A video of 50 Cent and Lil Wayne has surfaced wherein Curtis talks about wanting an “exotic” woman and seems to express an urge to physically attack women who call him out on his “preference”.

If I’m honest, even the most ardent of wig-snatchers might have simply ignored the video, dismissing it as yet another 50 Cent super villain moment. Half-Dollar is in a near-perpetual hotseat for doing things like making fun of Power cast members and attacking his own son on Instagram. What makes this different is the company he’s keeping and the reaction the video elicited. In the video, you can see Weezy’s few remaining locs jostling as he giggles like a 12-year-old with a nudie magazine. Weezy has a daughter. She felt the need to respond.

Before I go any further, I’d like to commend Reginae Carter for what she’s done here. Black women should never feel the need to “take the high road”, but she does. More admirable is how she centers the uplifting of the women who may have been affected by her father’s actions. That’s an incredibly difficult thing to do when family is involved.

All that said, this is not an isolated incident. As I said, 50 Cent is constantly making remarks like this. Most days, he gets ignored. Weezy’s lyrics have always been misogynoiristic, colorist, and he himself has made it clear that he doesn’t have a desire to learn. There’s a long history of these things being ignored. Our community doesn’t do enough to protect Black women. Oluwatoyin Salue’s tragic demise is proof of that, so it feels especially sinister when we see the real-world affects of these sentiments in real time.

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Pusha T Pushes Young Thug’s Buttons with Drake Diss

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Your favorite rapper and investigative journalist is back at it again. According to Young Thug’s Instagram story, Pusha T, Gunna, and Thug did a track together, only for Young Thug to realize that Pusha T’s verse was a follow-up diss toward Drake. Young Thug claimed that he did not “respect” Pusha T’s verse, nor did he know what it was about, calling the whole ordeal “so gay.” (We’ll push past the casual homophobia, for now.)

I can only assume that nothing of interest was found in Young Thug’s family tree, because Pusha responded with yet another attack against Drake! In the span of four Story pages, he claims that Drake was the reason the verse, as well as another verse he did on Rick Ross’s “Maybach 6”, weren’t approved, that Young Thug was only on the song because Pusha demanded it, and finished it all off with the request that he be taken off of the deluxe version of Pop Smoke’s album.

Drake doesn’t seem to feel like he needs to respond, yet. He usually keeps his cards close to his chest. There’s also the fact that Pusha seems dead-set on calling Drake out with every chance he gets. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Pusha T had more information in his arsenal that could further tarnish Champagne Papi’s image. It could also be that Drake just doesn’t want to give Pusha the attention he’s desperately ordering.

It’s all very messy-boots, which the gworls over on Twitter seemed more than happy to eat up.

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