Stern served as a judge on "America's Got Talent" for three years.
Howard Stern has weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding America's Got Talent for their recent firing of judge Gabrielle Union. After Union was allegedly fired for trying to report a racist joke that Jay Leno had said in a segment on their show, as well as for wearing hairstyles that were "too black" for the show's audience, Stern accused Simon Cowell, who created the America's Got Talent franchise, of "orchestrating" the whole ordeal of both Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough getting released from their contracts.
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"He sets it up that the men stay, no matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are," Stern said on his radio show, The Howard Stern Show. He also said that it’s “obvious” that the show continuously swaps out female judges much more often than make judges and replaces them with “hotter chicks and younger chicks.” As a former judge himself from 2012-2015, Stern seems to be offering up his own insight from experience, insinuating that the show, and Simon Cowell specifically, used Union's issue with Leno's racist joke and her hairstyle choices as reasons to fire her, so that they could get away with replacing her with someone "younger" and "hotter."
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NBC and Fremantle productions have responded to the controversy, saying in a statement: "'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 lineup 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.” Fremantle and Cowell’s company, Syco, released another statement saying: “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”