Julianne Hough Talks About America’s Got Talent Exit Amid Controversy

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Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough is reflecting on her and Gabrielle Union’s headline-making exits from America’s Got Talent.

It was revealed in late November that Hough and Union will not be returning to the NBC competition series for the show’s 15th season. This news came as a shock to fans of the talented stars, considering Hough and Union had just joined the series as judges for the show’s 14th season. Amid speculation about the duo’s departure, Variety published a report stating that Union had expressed concern over “offensive” incidents that allegedly occurred during her time at AGT.

According to the report, one of the alleged incidents involved a visit to AGT from Jay Leno, during which he’s claimed to have made an inappropriate joke in front of Union and Hough. It’s also stated in the report that Union and Hough were both given “excessive notes on their physical experience,” during their time at AGT, which took a toll on morale and “led to the tensions,” for Hough in particular. Though Hough later denied this claim.

“I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew and producers,” Hough said in a statement. “I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC.”

In response to the allegations, NBC and Fremantle also released a statement, sharing, “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT‘s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, Hough appeared on People Now for an interview with her brother, Derek Hough. During the interview, the Safe Haven actress was asked about her exit from AGT, and the headlines surrounding her and Union’s departure.

“I would just say that…my goodness. I just believe and value, at the highest regard, that everybody has a voice and should be heard, first and foremost,” Hough replied. “And then I believe that the paradigm of the workplace and how you do business and work with people now, it’s shifting, and I think that the people that really want to see change happen are going to authentically and positively and integrally do that.”

She added, “And so that’s all I really have to say about that.”

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