Gabrielle Union appears to be speaking out after her controversial firing from America's Got Talent.
For those unfamiliar, Union was fired from her position as a host on the NBC show for vocalizing her opposition to the show's alleged racist and sexist work environment.
During a women empowerment and inclusivity panel in Soho, Manhattan, the actress spoke to the crowd about her experience of being a leader in the workplace, being authentic and speaking your mind.
"Don’t be the happy negro that does the bidding of the status quo because you’re afraid," Union said. "Don’t allow them to call you angry when someone else is called passionate. It’s terrifying. There’s a solid chance you’ll lose your job…I speak from experience."
While Union did not specifically address her time on America's Got Talent, her comments on the obstacles women of color face in the entertainment industry seemed to allude to her time on the NBC show.
"Being the chip in the cookie, you are always in this situation where you are seeing things, hearing things…and you’re presented with a choice: what kind of chip am I going to be?” Union said in regard to being the only Black person in the room. “Are you going to assimilate and allow all of this to go on? Or are you going to say something and immediately be othered? Are you going to say something? You know it’s wrong. Everyone knows it’s wrong.”
Union also discussed the matter of speaking out about inequalities in the workplace and the price it entails.
"I’ve got to call it out in real-time,” she said. “But you have to navigate, ‘What will I lose?’ I have to weigh all these things. ‘How much am I willing to lose for the peace?'”
Photo: Getty Images
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