Simon Cowell is reportedly at the centre of NBC’s ‘further investigation’ into America’s Got Talent following Gabrielle Union’s controversial exit from the talent competition.
Union confirmed she met network executives on Tuesday for 5-hours and she hoped for real change to be brought to the show in the future.
“The initial conversation was candid and productive,” NBC said in a statement. “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.
Deadline is now reporting Cowell is “at the centre” of the network’s further investigation following the meeting. The report says the 60-year-old judge and show creator seems to be “at the centre of what went down” during Union’s time on the show.
The report goes on to say much of the conversation in the meeting had to do with Cowell’s behaviour and his control over the show.
“The ball is in NBC’s court to see if they can get Cowell to agree to make some changes to the way things are done on the show,” a source told Deadline.
The news comes just 24 hours after former judge Sharon Osbourne claimed slammed Simon on the US chat show The Talk, saying AGT is a “boy’s club” and former judge Howard Stern said he believes that Union and Hough’s firings were “orchestrated” by Cowell.
“He sets it up that the men stay no matter how ugly [the men] are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are,” Stern said. “He replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks. … Howie’s [Mandel] doing a fine, serviceable job — why don’t they change him? And why don’t they change Simon? … This is the ultimate example of a boys’ club.”
“I just go back to Simon’s shows,” Osbourne said. “X Factor, he brought to America. Every time it came on, I think there were three seasons [with] different little girls. There was him, L.A. Reid, who’s an older man…and in between them was Demi Lovato and Britney Spears. They looked like dirty old men beside these two little girls.”
America’s Got Talent airs on NBC in the US and streams on Netflix in the UK.