Howard Stern slammed Simon Cowell after Gabrielle Union’s controversial firing from America’s Got Talent.
On Monday’s episode of The Howard Stern Show, the radio show host called out Cowell – America’s Got Talent‘s creator and judged – and accused him of having “orchestrated” the actress’ departure.
“How is it that Simon Cowell has orchestrated this?” Stern said. “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.”
The 65-year-old radio show host was a judge on America’s Got Talent for four seasons from 2012 to 2015.
“But what he manages to do on all his shows is he constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks. Which is so obvious,” Stern continued.
The turnover for female judges on the show may be considered high by some people. Besides Union and Julianne Hough‘s recent exit from the show – other female judges who have appeared on the competition series includes Brandy Norwood, who left the show after its first season; Sharon Osbourne, who served as a judge from season 2 through season 7; and Mel B and Heidi Klum, who were judges from season 8 through season 13.
As for the male judges, Piers Morgan judged from season 1 to season 6, and David Hasselhoff from season 1 to season 4 of America’s Got Talent.
Meanwhile, Cowell and Howie Mandel will return as judges from the upcoming 15 season. Cowell joined America’s Got Talent judge panel in the show’s 11th season, and Mandel was cast as a judge in season 5.
Sterns’ remarks come just a day after Cowell’s production company, Syco Entertainment, released a statement about Union’s grievances with America’s Got Talent during her one-season run on the NBC competition series.
Syco Entertainment issued a joint statement with NBC and production company Fremantle on Sunday: “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.”
After the statement was released, Union shared a tweet from freelance writer and host Joelle Monique about the “proper way” to apologize.
Monique’s tweet read, “A solid apology comes in three parts. 1. Sincerely admit wrong doing directly to the offended party. 2. Be twice as loud correcting your mistake as you were making the mistake. 3. Lay out steps to correct your behavior in the future. Anything less is covering your own a–.”
Union retweeted, alongside an attached message saying: “This! This! AND THIIISSSSSSS!!!!!!”
The America’s Got Talent controversy began last month after the news broke that Union and Julianne Hough would not be returning to the show as judges in the upcoming 15th season.
On November 26, Variety published a report which claimed that Union had express concerns over racially insensitive incidents on the show during her time as a judge, one incident included a joke made by guest judge Jay Leno during the audition rounds and was allegedly removed from the episode.
The outlet’s sources also alleged that Union and Hough both received “excessive notes” on their physical appearance.
A spokesperson for NBC and Fremantle issued a statement about the claims on November 26: “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.”
Last Wednesday, Union broke her silence about her departure, and thank her fans for their support during this hard time via Twitter. “So many tears, so much gratitude,” she wrote. “THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
Even other celebrities such as Ellen Pompeo and Ariana Grande expressed their support for Union via Twitter.
Hough shared a statement to Variety last week, which denied that she had a negative experience working on the show. “I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew, and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC,” said Hough, who will star in two upcoming NBC Christmas specials. “I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”