Amid controversy surrounding Gabrielle Union’s firing from NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Heidi Klum is talking about the backlash she says she received after defending the reality show.
Heidi Klum, who served as a judge on the show for six seasons, seemed to dismiss Gabrielle Union’s claims that she experienced racism and inappropriate workplace behavior on set.
Gabrielle had been asked not to renew her contract after serving as a judge on AGT for only one season. At the time, it seemed innocent enough. But details surrounding her departure started surfacing, and they revealed concerning behind-the-scenes events that painted a different picture.
According to inside sources, there were incidents involving racial and gender discrimination, such as Gabrielle being criticized for her hairstyles being “too black” and racist jokes being made backstage.
Soon after, Heidi Klum spoke out about her own experiences on AGT, during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.
“I’ve only had an amazing experience,” Heidi told reporters. “I can’t speak for [Gabrielle]. I didn’t experience the same thing. To me, everyone treats you with the utmost respect. I’ve never seen anything that was weird or hurtful.”
Heidi said that she never felt like undue focus was placed on her wardrobe or appearance like Gabrielle had claimed. She also said that any tension seen among judges during the show was simply for entertainment purposes.
At the time, Heidi was no longer serving as a judge on AGT, but she was sitting on the judging panel for the spinoff, America’s Got Talent: The Champions alongside Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, and Howie Mandel.
Now, Heidi is saying that she is facing plenty of backlash over her comments.
On Wednesday, at the amfAR gala at Cipriani Wall Street, Heidi told Page Six, “A lot of people got mad at me. I was called, for example, ‘a white woman.'” (Although, I hate to break it to her, she is.)
“I think it is important for everyone to speak their truth. I think that when there is a story, it should be told. I had a different story,” she added.
“I can only speak to what I saw–it has nothing to do with what color I am,” Heidi continued. “I am a human so I just looked at what I saw.”