Heidi Klum has admitted a lot of people “got mad” at her for praising ‘America’s Got Talent’.
The 46-year-old model – who was a judge for six seasons of the talent competition – recently praised her positive experience on the show, following reports Gabrielle Union had departed the panel after just one season after complaining about a “toxic” culture, racial bias and discrimination during her time on the show.
Though Heidi insisted at the time she could only speak about her own experiences, she admitted she faced a backlash, largely centred on the fact she is white.
She told the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six column: “A lot of people got mad at me. I was called, for example, ‘a white woman.’
“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.
“I can only speak to what I saw — it has nothing to do with what colour I am. I am a human so I just looked at what I saw.”
Heidi previously insisted the ‘AGT’ set was very respectful.
She said: “I’ve only had an amazing experience. I can’t speak for her. 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.”
The blonde beauty is now a judge on spin-off show ‘America’s Got Talent: Champions’ and says that any tension seen amongst members of the judging panel is simply for entertainment purposes.
She added: “Of course, there’s always this cat-and-dog fight, but this is fun. You say something silly. For me, being on television, I want to entertain people. I want people to have a good time. I want people to go away from their life for two hours and just have fun and enjoy.”
She later clarified her comments and insisted she wasn’t trying to “negate or question Gabrielle’s truth”.
She said: “Recently, a reporter asked me to share my thoughts about Gabrielle Union’s experiences while working as a judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’. I told the reporter that I had not experienced similar issues while I was a judge on the show — my experience was a positive one. I can only speak of my own truth, and by no means is that meant to negate or question Gabrielle’s truth.
“I am aware that my experience may not be the same as Gabrielle’s. What I can tell you is that I am a fierce advocate for all people, no matter their race, age, religion, gender or sexuality. Everyone should be treated equally and with utmost respect.”
The star – who was previously married to musician Seal – added: “Personally, I have experienced very hurtful things while being married to a man of colour and having three beautiful children with him. While everyone’s challenges are different, I want nothing more than for a just world and for people to be kinder to one another.”