Terry Crews is apologizing to Gabrielle Union for his comments that appeared to invalidate her experience at “America’s Got Talent” after Union’s controversial exit.
In November, following Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough’s exit after one season, Variety reported a “toxic culture” at the NBC show that included racist jokes and excessive notes on female judges’ appearances .
Crews, who has hosted “AGT” since 2019, shot down allegations of racism during an appearance on the “Today” show last week, calling the talent show “the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”
He also questioned Union’s involvement: “When you look at what the allegations were about, it was given by an unnamed source…I asked my wife what I should do. She was like, ‘first of all, if it’s coming from an unnamed source – because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly …if she hasn’t made a statement, why would you?'”
Crews’ remarks sparked instant backlash, leading Union to tweet about being thrown “under the bus” – particularly after she previously supported Crews through his lawsuit against a Hollywood talent agent Crews accused of groping him.
After doubling down on his remarks earlier in the weekand facing more backlash, Crews appeared to turn over a new leaf on Friday.
“@itsgabrielleu, I want you to know it was never my intention to invalidate your experience – but that is what I did. I apologize,” Crews tweeted. “You have been through a lot in this business, and with that I empathize with the struggle toward fairness and equality in the workplace.”
He continued: “@itsgabrielleu You are a role model to the entire black community and in my desire to be professionally neutral as your co-worker, I should have at the very least understood you just needed my support. Sincerely, Terry Crews.”
Crews also explained that a past conversation with comedian Kevin Hart motivated him to “acknowledge the pain of other people.”
“I realize there are a lot of Black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say,” he wrote. He added: “I hear you, I respect you and understand you. I am sorry and I am here to support you. I spoke from my own personal point of view without first taking into consideration someone else’s experience.”
On Monday, Crews found himself in more hot water after his initial comments about “AGT” after saying his wife is the only woman he’s worried about keeping happy.
“There is only one woman one (sic) earth I have to please,” Crews said Monday in a tweet that has been deleted. “Her name is Rebecca. Not my mother, my sister, my daughters or co-workers. I will let their husbands/ boyfriends/ partners take care of them. Rebecca gives me WINGS.”
On Friday, Crews said he had been too reactive to hurtful comments being aimed his way.
“I allowed disrespectful comments directed at me and my family to cause me to react angrily instead of responding thoughtfully,” he tweeted. “This certainly caused more harm, and it is my hope that I can amend any pain I have caused to those who were hurt by my words.”
Union hasn’t responded to Crews’ apology. USA TODAY reached out to her reps for comment.
Contributing: Sara M Moniuszko