Sofia Vergara named America’s Got Talent’s new judge following show controversy

Sofia Vergara has been named as the new judge for the upcoming season of America's Got Talent.

The modern Family actress, 47, will join former super-model Heidi Klum, 46, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell on the panel. Actor Terry Crews will return as host of the show.

“I’m so happy to join my new family on AGT ,” Colombian-born Sofia said.

"This is a new and exciting next chapter for me and I’m extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show.

I can’t wait to watch all the talent and have fun with all you guys.”

In addition, Heidi, Klum, who was a judge on the show from 2013 to 2018, and for two seasons of AGT: Champions, expressed her joy at coming back, saying: "I’m so excited to be back at AGT with Simon, Howie and Terry."

"The fact that Sofia Vergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake."

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This new announcement comes in the wake of some recent controversy concerning the NBC show, which came under fire last December when former judge Gabrielle Union threatened legal action after claiming she was told by show bosses her hair and clothes were "too black".

Bring it on actress Gabrielle, 47, who was axed in November of last year, claims the working environment on the show, which attracts about 10 million viewers, was "toxic" and there was no mechanism for raising her grievances.

She has also alleged Simon Cowell , 60, was too dominant and chat show host Jay Leno, who was serving as a guest judge, cracked inappropriate jokes.

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The actress reportedly wants to sue British entertainment mogul Cowell's company Syco, which co-produces the show.

Speaking to The Mail , a source close to her said: "She's in discussions with Simon's people and [broadcaster] NBC, but she isn't prepared to back down.

"This isn't going away. Gabrielle kept complaining about Simon's total autonomy on set.There were no other channels to go through to make a complaint about conditions.

"She was shocked when she was told that her hair and wardrobe was 'too black' and she immediately tried to lodge a complaint, but there wasn't a place to go.

"Gabrielle is powerful and wealthy in her own right. She's not interested in a settlement or having this swept under the rug.

"This is her #MeToo moment and she's doing this because she genuinely wants to change an outdated system and wants to make it better for the women who come after her."

NBC, Fremantle and Syco responded by releasing a joint statement.

It said: "We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture.

"We are working with Ms Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate."

Earlier this month, it was reported that Gabrielle planned to sue Simon for “endangering her life” by allegedly smoking on the set of AGT.

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