Gabrielle Union claims that constantly facing Simon Cowell smoke on the 'America's Got Talent' set caused her to be ill.
Simon Cowell may have limited his drinking for weight loss, smoking was not something he gave up at all during his body positivity journey. And that was also something that wasn't all too good for Gabrielle Union having to face him on the set of America's Got Talent as she is severely allergic to cigarette smoke.
In a cover story for Variety, the 47-year-old actress says she complained about Cowell's smoking from day one, but she was hesitant in doing so as the producers could not do much about it. The former America's Got Talent judge claimed she was sick for two months, which also upset Howie Mandel, a self-confessed germaphobe.
Smoking was a strict no-no for Union.
Photo Source: FilmMagic, REX
"I couldn't escape," she told Variety. "I ended up staying sick for two months straight. It was a cold that lingered, and turned into bronchitis, because I couldn't shake it. It impacted my voice, which affects my ability to do my job."
A spokesperson for Cowell said, "When he was directly informed of the smoking complaint during the first couple of days of the season, he immediately changed his behavior and the issue was never raised again."
Union was reportedly fired from the show by Cowell.
Photo Source: America's Got Talent, NBC
Along with that complaint, she raised several other instances of discrimination and hostile workplace behavior with the producers. After reportedly being fired from the talent show, an internal investigation is currently undergoing into production companies Fremantle and Syco, as well as NBC was opened and is currently ongoing.
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"At the end of all this, my goal is real change — and not just on this show but for the larger parent company," Union concluded. "It starts from the top down. My goal is to create the happiest, most high-functioning, inclusive, protected and healthy example of a workplace."
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