Terry Crews has apologised to Gabrielle Union after he defended America’s Got Talent shortly after she left the show.
Union was a judge on Simon Cowell’s TV talent show but departed amid reports she had raised concerns over sexism and racism on the programme.
Her leaving sparked an investigation from the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA while Time’s Up, the anti-sexual harassment group, said network NBC had a history of punishing women who speak out.
Following the controversy Crews, the America’s Got Talent host, was criticised after raising doubts about Union’s claims.
He has now apologised via Twitter.
The actor said he realises “there are a lot of Black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say”.
Crews, known for his role on comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, then addressed Union directly and wrote: “I want you to know it was never my intention to invalidate your experience — but that is what I did. I apologise.
“You have been through a lot in this business, and with that I empathise with the struggle toward fairness and equality in the workplace.”
Crews added: “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.”
Union, an actress known for films including She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring It On, is yet to respond publicly.
Union and her fellow female judge Julianne Hough were both let go from America’s Got Talent after one season on the show.
Both women were subject to “excessive notes” on their physical appearance during their time on the programme, according to US outlet Variety.
Union also raised concerns about a racially sensitive act on the show, Variety said.
After a meeting with Union in December, NBC said: “The initial conversation was candid and productive. 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.”