Ex' AGT' Magistrate Howard Stern Blames Simon Cowell For Gabrielle Union's Exit:' He Sets It Up That The Men Stay'
“Howie’s[ Mandel] doing a fine, serviceable task — why don’t they alter him? And why don’t they change Simon? … ” Stern inquired before stating it’s the “ultimate example of a boys’ club.”
A rep for Cowell did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Mandel is currently the longest-tenured judge on “AGT, ” having joined the program in 2010. Stern served as a magistrate on the talent competitor show for four seasons before exiting in 2015. Before the arrival of Union and Hough, “Spice Girls” singer Mel B and model Heidi Klum were on the judging panel from seasons eight through 13.
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News of Union’s departure, initially reported by Variety last week, alleged that Union was subject to various racially-motivated criticisms, including over her many haircut alterations, which were perceived as “too black” for “AGT’s” core demographic. Union reportedly received that critique more than half a dozen times.
Union was also reportedly not a fan of a racially insensitive joke made by Jay Leno on set.
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During the filming of an interstitial segment, Leno joked about a painting that featured Simon Cowell surrounded by puppies. Leno joked that the dogs looked like something one could find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant” — much to the chagrin of “the very few Asian staffers” on the depict. The commentary was later edited out of the Aug. 6 episode.
Union allegedly exhorted producers to report the incident to NBC’s human resources department — however her pleas fell on deaf ears.
Though Union’s husband and former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade publicly supported her, Stern said he hoped Union would let Leno “live in peace.”
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“Let’s go on record as telling people that one million puppies are still eaten annually in South Korea, and if Gabrielle Union wants to effect positive change, perhaps focus on the horrors of Korean dog farms and let the old irrelevant comic live in peace, ” Stern said. “She wants Jay beaten in the street. I guess perhaps Jay makes a point.”
In the wake of an NBC-issued statement to People magazine about Union’s exit, the “LA’s Finest” star responded to a tweet from a journalist that blamed the statement made by production company Fremantle, NBC and Cowell’s own production limb, Syco Entertainment and listed what a “solid apology” should consist of.
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“A solid apology comes in three components. 1. Sincerely admit wrong doing[ sic] immediately to the offended party. 2. Be twice as loud correcting your mistake as you were making the mistake. 3. Lay out steps to correct your behavior in the future. Anything less is covering your own a–, ” the tweet read — to which Union reacted, “This! This! AND THIII’SS !!!!!! ”
Production company Fremantle, NBC and Simon Cowell’s production company, Syco Entertainment, told People last Friday: “’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, ” the statement continued. “NBC and the producers take any issues on situate seriously.”
Fox News’ Andy Sahadeo contributed to this report .
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