Nick Cannon is throwing his support behind Gabrielle Union in the midst of her America’s Got Talent racial discrimination claims.
In an interview with VLAD TV, Cannon, a former longtime AGT host, broke down how the show’s production lends itself to creating a toxic and hostile work environment.
“It was some eye-opening events that occurred that really just shed light on some cultural insensitivities ultimately when it comes to women when it comes to how the show is ‘produced,’ you know,” said Cannon.
“I believe, you know, as a producer — someone who’s been doing it a long time, I was over at AGT for damn near a decade — you kinda see these things and you’re like ‘It’s a giant machine,'” he said.
The Wild 'N Out creator hosted AGT for seven years but left abruptly in 2017, citing a disagreement with NBC over what material they felt he should be allowed to perform in his own personal stand-up specials, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"I find myself in a dark place having to make a decision that I wish I didn't have to, but as a man, an artist, and a voice for my community I will not be silenced, controlled or treated like a piece of property. There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity," said Cannon at the time.
Union alleges that her contract was not renewed after she voiced concerns over a racially insensitive joke that implied Koreans ate dogs made by guest comic Jay Leno. Further, Union says she received several complaints that her hair was “too Black,” reported Variety.
Cannon showed support for the actress, citing not only his friendship with Union but his experience with the production as well.
“[Gabby’s] pointing out things that are true issues that need to be rendered and fixed,” Cannon said. "People are like 'oh now she's angry. Now she's a troublemaker.'"
His support comes on the heels of controversial statements made by current AGT host Terry Crews who some people believed insinuated Union was lying about her claims. His implication stoked Black Twitter as Union had supported Crews after announcing his sexual assault at the hands of a high-powered white male agent at an industry party he was attending with his wife.
Crews retaliated against his critics, saying that he was not obligated to please any woman but his wife, as Blavity previously reported. He included his daughters and mother in this sentiment, which got him ostracized further. Crews has since apologized for his statements.
I told @KevinHart4real a while ago, he needed 2 “acknowledge the pain of other people.” Right now I have to do the same thing. I want to apologize for the comments I made. I realize there are a lot of Black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say.— terry crews (@terrycrews) January 31, 2020Cannon made sure to take Crews to task for his comments and lack of support for Union.
“I love Terry Crews, but it gets to that place… again it’s an institutional thing, so I’m not blaming him. We get excited about the occupation, we get excited to work for the man and we going to defend the man because he gave me a job. It don’t matter what you saw because I stood firmly by him when my former agent accosted him,” Cannon told VLAD TV.
@itsgabrielleu Sister, You know we stand with you in public, private, on every platform and forum! I believe you and from our many discussions, I know you have the strength to prevail! And fuck anybody who don’t believe or understand!✊🏾— Nick Cannon (@NickCannon) January 24, 2020
He further took the opportunity to espouse his support for Black women.
“Especially when it comes to our queens, when it comes to Gabby, I don’t care. Whatever she said, if it happened, I’m rocking with you,” he said.