NBC may say it’s over and done with, but Gabrielle Union doesn’t believe it and the past America has talent judge takes Simon Cowell, Universal TV, Syco Entertainment and Fremantle Productions North America to trial and likely to court over what really went down on the competition series last season – and L.A.’s Finest star names executive name.
Clearly going against either a lawsuit she now has the right to pursue or arbitrate, the Union’s complaint, discrimination and retaliation filed today with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, covers much of the same plea published in her previous public statements on ” racist and misogynistic behavior ” AGT during her brief stint. However, the document obtained with Deadline also explosively claims that NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy directly intervened in a probe of these allegations in an attempt to “silence and intimidate” her.
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“Telegdy contradicted its statements to the media and personally disregarded NBC’s” Principles of Business Conduct “(hereinafter” the Code of Conduct “) which requires confidentiality for workplace investigations by contacting the Union Agent and disclosing confidential information obtained during the ongoing investigation into the Union’s concern in an attempt to silence and intimidate the Union from providing information to the investigator about her experience, “the 38-page complaint to DFEH from heavyweight lawyer Bryan Freedman, which has caused the right to sue letters (READ THIS)
On February 4, 2020, Telegdy threatened the Union through its agent and warned the Union agent that the Union should stop pushing her allegations of racism during filming AGT. The Union agent was shocked that the president of NBC Entertainment was trying to threaten and intimidate Union. The Union agent could not remember another example in his career when a senior executive in a network had threatened and frightened an employee during an ongoing investigation in the workplace. “
The Union is represented by a team of agents at CAA.
As for the claims against Telegdy, NBC has not responded to the request for comment from Deadline – if and when they do, we will update this post. It should also be noted that whether this ends up in court or behind closed doors, this is not NBC and the Freedman + Tailtelman founder’s first rodeo. Freedman, who previously represented Deadline’s parent company PMC, was at the table for Megyn Kelly at the end of 2018 from the network and the payment of several million dollars in early 2019.
“At the time Telegdy threatened the Union through its agent, Union had not made any public statements about her experience with AGT,” the application goes on to say, although the Union and her husband NBA legend Dwayne Wade had in some way gone social media back in November 2019. “It became clear to the Union that Telegdy was not only trying to silence the Union in the media, but was trying to silence the Union from making further comments to the investigator.”
Looking deeper into the Union’s claims of legitimate health problems over Cowell’s cavaliers who smoke indoors, blackface artists, complaints that are not sent properly to HR, “racist” jokes by guest Jay Leno and more, “outside lawyer” submitted by NBC and Fremantle seems to have spent a lot of time in Portugal on vacation and made most of their inquiries and interviews by phone. The one exception, mentioned in today’s dense DFEH filing, was a person sitting on December 3, 2019 with Union.
“Due to the Union’s silent refusal to endure the racist and misogynistic behavior of the AGT, she was labeled as” frightening “and considered the problem, which resulted in her being terminated,” the complaint submitted to the State Bureau of the Union’s legal team notes. “However, based on the preliminary results of the investigator’s results, it is clear that there are systemic problems at AGT,” the application continues, citing Cowell’s behavior, hair destruction and make-up and an AGT staff who are apparently lying out-and-out for the Union over how a blackface artist ended up on the show, among other things.
In fact, since Telegdy probably had also slipped his mouth on the confidential probe to the so-called “A-list talent that NBC was looking to hire” and others according to the filing, the days before the coronavirus shut down Hollywood, the Union investigator personally admitted that the probe was incomplete and obviously occupied, to put it mildly.
“On March 4, 2020, Union participated in a personal meeting with the investigator, NBC and Fremantle, during which the investigator shared the preliminary results of his” investigation “on the Union’s employment claim,” reveals the condemnation application.
“At the beginning of this meeting, the investigator revealed that she had previously disclosed the preliminary result of her” investigation “to NBC several weeks earlier without the Union’s presence,” the paperwork says. “The investigator, who was employed by NBC and Fremantle, acknowledged, among other things, that she had already made changes to her preliminary results in the direction of NBC and Fremantle. The investigator also warned that her findings would not be interpreted to suggest that a proper “investigation” was being conducted. “
Months after the Union was dumped AGT On November 22, after just one season at the judge’s table, NBC and AGT producers released a statement on the internal investigation on day one of the debut of the show’s last season.
“Through the investigation process, it has emerged that no one in connection with the show made any insensitive or derogatory comments about Ms. Union’s appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the progress or elimination of contestants at any time,” Comcast-owned network, Fremantle and Syco declared May 27. ” The investigation has shown that the fears raised by the Union had no bearing on the decision not to use the alternative on her contract. “
Clearly, not so much in Gabrielle Union’s eyes.
“Instead of taking the Union’s complaints seriously and using them as a catalyst for real meaningful change, Telegdy, NBC, Fremantle and Syco are trying to blame the victim, Union, for maintaining the status quo,” said Thursday’s application. “The steps that Telegdy, NBC, Fremantle and Syco have used to silence the Union and to cover racial discrimination in the set AGT stands in stark contrast to current global efforts to eradicate racism through Black Lives Matter protests and movements.
“There is no place for this type of racial bullying in the workplace, and it will take more than one Tweet from NBC to show that NBC intends to create an environment free of racism,” attorney Freedman said in a statement to Deadline this morning .
News about the filing of DFEH was first reported by Yashar Ali on Twitter