Morgan Noll
Updated December 13, 2019 9:05 am
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Steve Granitz, Getty Images

Gabrielle Union is making it clear that she won’t let anyone tell her not to be herself. Since November 22nd, when America’s Got Talent announced that Union and Julianne Hough wouldn’t be returning as judges, news has been pouring out about the toxic work environment on the set of the NBC show. According to Variety‘s sources, both Union and Hough—the only two women cast members on the show—received “excessive notes on their physical appearance.” According to four of Variety‘s sources, Union specifically received complaints that her hair was “too Black” for the America’s Got Talent audience.

Union was reportedly vocal about the toxic culture on set before her firing, and she’s continued to be an outspoken voice as the story develops. Most recently, she posted an Instagram compilation video of her many looks and hairstyles on the show, defiantly claiming her right to own her style.

Union captioned the post of her hairstyles, “Unapologetically me.”

She continued in the caption:

The video was originally posted last week by Union’s hairstylist Larry Sims. He used the incredible portfolio of his work to show support for Union, captioning the post, “Too Black? Nah…She’s FLAWLESS!!!” And we couldn’t agree more.

If all this isn’t already enough to give you the chills, make sure you watch the video with the sound on.

The compilation is set to audio from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s “We Should All Be Feminists” speech as excerpted in Beyonce’s song “Flawless.”

In the video, photos of Union proudly wearing a variety of hairstyles filter through, as Adiche’s voice in the background says, “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man.”

Fortunately “the man” in Union’s life, Dwyane Wade, has been showing up as a very supportive partner to his wife through all of this. In a string of tweets, he expressed how proud he is and called Union “an advocate for our community and culture.”

We are so here for all the hairstyle pics and we stand by Union as she continues to stand up to racism and sexism in the entertainment industry.