America’s Got Talent gets a taste of Blackness as Gabrielle Union, Terry Crews join as judge, host

The two stars are a part of the show's new celeb lineup, which includes the first change of judges in three years

Getty Images


NBC’s America’s Got Talent is getting a melanin infusion by way of actors Gabrielle Union as a new judge and Terry Crews as a new host, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Union, who also will star in the upcoming detective drama L.A.’s Finest, will join singer/dancer/actress Julianne Hough in replacing Heidi Klum and Mel B. on the judge’s team, according to THR, completing the panel that will still include veterans Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel.

READ MORE: Terry Crews, Whoopi Goldberg understand Liam Neeson, but Wale pushes back

Crews, also a recent advocate against sexual assault who has shared his own stories of abuse and aligned himself with the #MeToo movement, now hosts America’s Got Talent: The Champions and also stars on NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a situation comedy centered around a New York police precinct. Crews will be replacing America’s Next Top Model brandmaker Tyra Banks.

“The next evolution of the format brings in fresh expert eyes to join Simon and Howie on the panel,” Meredith Ahr, president of the alternative and reality group at NBC Entertainment, said in a statement published by THR.

“Gabrielle and Julianne are two of the most aspirational women in the business, on top of being electric entertainers with talent across disciplines. I am excited to see how their knowledge, compassion and sheer joy enhance the experience for acts and viewers alike. As their partner in crime, Terry Crews will continue to light up the stage with his quick wit and unending charm,” the statement continued.

READ MORE: Gabrielle Union on potential cameos from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence on ‘LA’s Finest’: It would be awesome”

This is first change to the judges on America’s Got Talent in three years.

No word on whether the exit of Mel B., whose given name is Melanie Brown, anything to do with her continued, recent troubles. Last year, the former Spice Girl said she’d been using alcohol to self medicate after her divorce from film producer Stephen Belafonte and she planned to enter rehab for alcohol and sex addiction. Tabloids also claimed she was heavily in debt after her divorce.