Hough, 31, departed the competition series with Union, 47, in November. Union was fired as a judge after she reportedly complained to producers about a Korean joke allegedly made by guest star Jay Leno — and was distraught to get notes that her hair was “too black,” according to Variety.
“We need to start conversations and I just commend Gabrielle for speaking her truth and starting a conversation,” Hough said during the third hour of “Today” on Thursday. “I’m really proud of NBC as well for also showing up and starting a narrative and that’s what’s going to change the workplace and the paradigm that we’ve been working in for many many years and is shifting and I think that’s really exciting.”
She added that, “Life is crazy and sometimes you can’t control things, and when obstacles come your way you have to be graceful about it and have integrity. I think that people with authenticity and integrity will create change.”
The “Dancing With the Stars” judge said she hasn’t spoken to Union since they left the show.
“I have reached out. I think we both have been very busy,” she said. “Hopefully, when I get back to LA later this afternoon we can have a conversation.”
Hough said she “wasn’t” surprised when their exits prompted this level of attention.
I think that this is a big conversation and I think people really want to be a leader of change and I think that people are supporting it,” she said.
On Wednesday, Union tweeted that had a five-hour “productive” meeting with the Peacock network.
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