In November, reports emerged that Union had complained about a culture of racism and other workplace issues on the set of “AGT” before she and fellow judge Julianne Hough left the show. Hough, Union and Crews joined Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel as judges for the show’s 14th season.
“I can’t speak for sexism, because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments — that was never my experience on ‘America’s Got Talent,’” Crews said firmly on “Today.” “In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment. The top 10 acts were Asian, women, older, younger, Black, white ... It was everything in the gamut.”
Crews later said that he thinks “you should always believe women,” but that in this case, he hasn’t heard a direct statement from Union about the allegations, nor has he reached out to her about them, he said.
Union has referenced the controversy on different occasions on Twitter.
In November, she tweeted about feeling “lost, adrift, alone...” as she received wide support on Twitter after news of her departure emerged.
“So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU!” Union tweeted at the time.
Last month, Union tweeted that she had a productive “lengthy 5-hour” meeting with representatives for NBC about the matter.
“I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth,” she wrote. “I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
NBC said in a statement at the time that “the initial conversation was candid and productive,” the Associated Press reported.
“While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution,” the statement continued.
We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday. I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) December 4, 2019
On Friday, Union appeared to refute Crews’ statements in a series of tweets:
Thank u! Cuz girlllllll 😐 Truth telling, wanting change & having MULTIPLE witnesses who bravely came forward to let EVERYONE know I didn't lie or exaggerate, really exposes those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus, forgetting quickly who stepped up 4 THEIR truth. https://t.co/X1uooWTpmK— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 24, 2020
Why anyone would gleefully get up on TV and tell lies that NO ONE disputed... But we already know. https://t.co/8MAfmzSgmI— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 24, 2020
Can someone please ask abt what happens to all that diversity folks are talking about BEHIND THE SCENES. Like, legit... where the hell is all that diversity in the production though homie? In the decision making ranks who control the fate of the diversity in front of the camera?— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 24, 2020
In one Tweet, Union wrote, “Why anyone would gleefully get up on TV and tell lies that NO ONE disputed... But we already know.”
“Maaaaaan... We all agreed to let the investigation be completed before speaking but if we doing this... ohhhhh baby let’s gooooooooooo!” she wrote in another.
Other Twitter users accused Crews of throwing Union under the bus and disregarding her experience as a Black woman. His statements were seen as hypocritical especially when so many Black women — including Union — stood by Crews when he shared his story as a survivor of sexual assault:
Beyond disappointing. Terry Crews could have spoken to his experience without going overboard to discredit @itsgabrielleu. BTW, I didn’t have to know Terry Crews or see what happened to him to support him. Sadly, black women are used to this. https://t.co/2uuQ4Yr6oG— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 24, 2020
If Terry Crews wanted to protect his own interests by remaining silent and not supporting Gabrielle Union, it would have merely been unprincipled. But the fact that he actively contradicts her claims —when he could have just said nothing— is deplorable.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) January 24, 2020
Terry Crews pulled some "black male throws yet another Black Woman under the bus" shit— Adrian C. Jackson (@AdrianCJax) January 25, 2020
…after BW stood by him when he disclosed being sexually assaulted
If you can't use whatever sized platform you have to support Black Women…don't cry when THEY no longer support YOU en masse
Terry Crews wants to be believed that he was sexually assaulted but doesn't want everyone to believe Gabrielle Union experienced racism on America's Got Talent?— FERRARI SHEPPARD (@stopbeingfamous) January 25, 2020
Terry Crews' comments re: @itsgabrielleu's experience on America's Got Talent are unfortunate & disconcerting. Just because YOU didn't experience racism & sexism on the show doesn't mean she didn't! Black men, please STOP throwing Black women under the bus!— Elgin Charles (@ElginCharles) January 25, 2020
It’s so sick that Black women & Black queers rolled up for Terry Crews while his cishet male peers shitted on him hard for his trauma & at his 1st opportunities he threw queer ppl & BW right under the bus for his comfort in patriarchy, etc. Not even for his survival... COMFORT— Muting/Blocking = Self Care (@QueeringPsych) January 24, 2020
Crews has not yet publicly commented on the backlash to his comments on “Today.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.