Modern Family star Sofia Vergara and supermodel Heidi Klum have just signed on to join the America’s Got Talent judges’ panel for the talent show’s upcoming 15th season.
Last December, it was rumored that Vergara was in talks with the series to join as a judge.
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While Vergara will be making her debut as an America’s Got Talent judge, Klum will be returning to the series after her season 14 hiatus. Judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel will also return, as is emcee Terry Crews.
“I’m so excited to be back at AGT with Simon, Howie and Terry. The fact that Sofia Vergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake,” Klum said in a statement.
“Sofia’s infectious energy and sharp wit will blend perfectly with returning favorites Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Terry. As both a respected actress and successful entrepreneur, she embodies the American dream that is synonymous with AGT’s transformative stage,” added Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment.
Vergara and Klum are joining the show at a controversial time for the NBC series. The two stars will replace judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, both who departed after only one season. A report later surfaced on how the show had a “toxic” workplace environment and cited a number of alleged incidents that led to Union being let go. The same report also included Union raising objections over a racist joke from guest judge Jay Leno, Cowell’s illegal smoking on the set, and the America’s Got Talent crew telling Union some of her hairstyles were “too black” for the show, and how one contestant performed a Beyoncé impression while wearing black-painted hands.
Last December, Union tweeted how she had a “lengthy 5-hour” meeting with NBC, America’s Got Talent production company Fremantle, and Cowell’s company Syco Entertainment, where she shared her “unfiltered truth.”
“The initial conversation was candid and productive,” NBC said in a statement at the time. “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.”
America’s Got Talent will premiere this summer.