Gabrielle Union is known for not holding her tongue about situations she’s involved in, especially if she believes she’s standing up for what’s right.
That’s what happened while the actress spoke on a female empowerment and inclusivity panel at the launch of her holiday collection with New York & Company Monday (December 16). According to Variety, Union alluded to her recent firing from America’s Got Talent, and while she didn’t call out the NBC series by name, it was the first time she spoke implicitly about her departure from the show.
“Don’t be the happy Negro that does the bidding of the status quo because you’re afraid. Don’t allow them to call you angry when someone else is called passionate. It’s terrifying,” she said. “There’s a solid chance you’ll lose your job … I speak from experience.
“Do your best because corporations want global dollars,” she continued. “Do your best to try to hold the door open and hold people responsible. Yeah, I’m asking you to do the impossible … I’m fully aware that job loss is on the table … but if you’re not doing it, nobody is.”
Five other women spoke on the panel, titled “The Power of Inclusivity and the Women Leading the Charge,” which was held at Ladurée in Manhattan’s SoHo nieghborhood. Union also explained how she makes decisions when it comes to her personal career.
“How many checks do I need? This financial freedom, they’re shackles, masquerading as zeros in my bank account,” she said. “There are a lot of people who are only interested in filling their own plate. I can’t enjoy my food if everyone else is starving.”
Three weeks ago, news broke that judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were abruptly fired from America’s Got Talent after Union reportedly spoke up about a toxic work environment. Reports later claimed that Union was open to dialogue with the show, but now, it doesn’t seem like she will make a return. Hough’s firing appears to be unrelated to Gabrielle’s.