“I am so happy to join my new family on @agt,” Vergara announced on Instagram. “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 new talent and have fun with all you guys!”
AGT also announced the news on Thursday, writing: “There’s a new judge joining the #AGT FAMILY! Introducing @simoncowell, @howiemandel, @heidiklum, AND @sofiavergara as the Season 15 Judging Panel, with @terrycrews as your host!”
Klum posted a photo of herself and Vergara together on Instagram to announce the news.
“I am so excited to be back at @AGT with @simoncowell @howiemandel and @terrycrews! The fact that @sofiavergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake! #agt,” Klum captioned the photo.
Vergara, who will be the first Latina judge on AGT, stars in Modern Family, which will end in April after 11 seasons.
The 47-year-old actor joins the judging panel following Gabrielle Union’s controversial exit from the series.
In late November, it was announced that Union and Julianne Hough would not be returning to AGT next season. Days later, Variety published a report claiming there was a “toxic culture” on the set of AGT.
According to Variety’s report, Union had concerns over alleged offensive incidents that happened on set.
The report alleged both judges were subject to “excessive notes” about physical appearance and claimed that AGT had a culture of toxic, racist jokes.
Variety also quoted multiple unnamed sources saying Union was told several times that her hairstyles were “too Black” for the competition show.
The article also claimed that Union had expressed concerns over an incident during auditions in which she believed a white male performer crossed a line in portraying people of colour.
On Dec. 1, a joint statement was released from NBC, FremantleMedia, which produces the show, and Cowell’s entertainment company Syco regarding Union.
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the group’s statement read.
“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.”
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