Celebs Who Can't Stand Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union is sweet as pie, but there's no doubting she's never been afraid to stand up for herself. And who could blame her? The star has fought hard for her impressive career, with roles in big-time TV shows and movies, including "Friends," "Bring It On," "Being Mary Jane," and "Think Like A Man."

"I had to work hard for it," Union explained to Thrive Global in 2017 of her journey to self-confidence. "I fell down the rabbit hole of hanging my self-worth on being chosen by the right guy, having the right friends, making the best grades, getting the right parts for a long time."

She then added that she "eventually" learned how to get "on board with how much value [she] brought to the table," noting, "Once I stopped looking at other people and external events for validation, I started to appreciate what and who I was. ... You are stuck with yourself — better to learn to love who and what you are."

But with that outspoken and confident nature sometimes comes the odd person who gets rubbed the wrong way, and it's safe to say these stars haven't exactly had the smoothest run-ins with this talented star.

Charles Barkley got personal

The drama is always a little juicier when social media is involved in some way (everyone seems to be a little more confident behind the keyboard, after all), and that was no different when it came to Gabrielle Union's Twitter spat with former professional basketball player Charles Barkley. This all went down in early 2015 after Barkley shared his two cents on Union's husband, Dwyane Wade, claiming during a segment on TNT that "Wade shouldn't have made the All-Star team" (via theGrio). And, well, Union wasn't happy about that.

"Forgive Charles. .. Kenny Smith is a 2x champion & his opinion is most sound... it's like me talkin bout Meryl Streep but I ain't won nuthin," she clapped back on Twitter.

The feud then returned to TNT, where Barkley hit back, "Don't ever mention you and Meryl Streep in the same sentence. Meryl Streep would never be on 'Snakes on a Plane' or 'Madea'" (via theGrio). He then took further aim at Union's acting skills, adding, "I'm not one of those people that's going to turn the other cheek. You say something bad about me and I'm going to say something bad about you."

As for how Union responded? Speaking on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" in February 2015, she said, "[Barkley's] like the guy that insists on coming to book club but didn't read the book, but wants to dominate the conversation, and you're like, 'You don't know what you're talking about. Stop talking.'" Ouch!

Gabrielle Union and Jada Pinkett Smith went in-depth on their feud

How could we talk about Gabrielle Union's dramas and not mention her infamous feud with Jada Pinkett Smith? This was a long falling out, as the two didn't speak for a whopping 17 years — and neither even really knew why!

The two appeared together on Pinkett Smith's "Red Table Talk" series in May 2018, with "The Matrix" star confessing, "Gabrielle and I were never really girlfriends; we were great associates that at some point, that dissolved and for 17 years we have not really spoken." She went on to admit they had "some petty-a** s***" between them and there "was always tension" if they'd see each other at events.

Union knew it was time to bury the hatchet with her feud partner after working with a life coach and discussing personal happiness, which made her realize that she had "been communicating through negativity." She even described herself as being "a hater" and "a troll." These two managed to bury the hatchet in the wake of their almost two-decade long drama, as Pinkett Smith shared during the episode: "I hope from here on out that we have a bond and you know, you can call on me for anything, and thank you for just being open to this."

The women now follow each other on Instagram (the true sign of friendship these days!) and continue to show us that not all drama has to last forever.

Things got litigious with Simon Cowell

It's probably pretty safe to say that Simon Cowell isn't the biggest fan of Gabrielle Union. These two were once work colleagues, sitting side by side as they judged the best talent the country (and beyond!) had to offer on Season 14 of "America's Got Talent" in 2019.

However, things quickly broke down after Union filed a lawsuit in which she named the show's production company, Fremantle, NBC Universal, and Cowell's production company, Syco, in June 2020. She alleged she'd alerted NBC to "racially offensive conduct," according to a statement from her lawyer (via InStyle), but didn't receive the support she wanted.

Union also opened up about her on-set experience to Variety in May 2020, claiming Simon Cowell would smoke near her, which made her ill for two months. "I couldn't escape," she said, alleging she developed bronchitis. "It impacted my voice, which affects my ability to do my job. ... It was challenging to tend to my illness without being made to feel like I'm responsible for my own sickness. It put me in a position from day one where I felt othered. I felt isolated. I felt singled out as being difficult..."

Syco, Cowell's company, responded with a statement that read in part, per Entertainment Weekly, "We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture." Cowell has never personally responded in public, but we're guessing these two are far from besties.

Julianne Hough got called out

In another drama stemming from Gabrielle Union's "America's Got Talent" lawsuit, unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Union made many lifelong friendships from her single-season judging stint on the NBC show. Step on up, Julianne Hough.

While these two have never officially confirmed a feud and appeared to get along on the "AGT" judging panel, Union called out Hough specifically in her infamous lawsuit as she referred to a serious controversy from Hough's past in which she wore blackface as part of a Halloween costume. Things never seemed the same after that.

"Make no mistake, NBC is part of the problem. NBC's current attitude towards racism can be deduced from its defense of those individuals who have appeared in blackface, including but not limited to, Julianne Hough," Union's lawsuit read, per The Blast, while also naming other stars, including Jimmy Fallon and Ted Danson. The "Dancing with the Stars" celeb apologized for the blackface controversy on Twitter in October 2013 (and again on Instagram in September 2021). As for what she said publicly about being named in the lawsuit? It seems the star preferred to stay quiet.

Though Hough also left the series after Season 14, she and Union don't follow each other on Instagram — or any other social media platform for that matter — and don't appear to have had any public interactions since appearing on the show.

50 Cent is no fan of Being Mary Jane

50 Cent is no fan of Gabrielle Union's work. In another social media drama for the ages, these two got into it over their respective TV shows ("Being Mary Jane" and "Power," of course!) Let's throw it back to the simpler times of August 2017 for this one, when warring TV shows were the biggest thing we had to worry about ...

This diss went down after the rapper slammed "Being Mary Jane" while attempting to big "Power," as 50 Cent both executive produced and starred in the series, which has gone on to receive several spin-offs. "Remember that other show that thought they were in competition with 'Power,' what happened to it? I don't hear anyone talking sh*t anymore. Now I'm gonna take over BET," he wrote on Instagram, in a now-deleted post (via Billboard).

But, as we know by now, Union is no wallflower. The star wasn't about to take the diss lying down, and clapped back in a (very classy) way. "I don't compete with other artists, only celebrate. Enough space for all of us to succeed. Cheers to 'Power' and cheers to other creative folks uplifting each other," she responded in the comments section, adding, "Keep shining @50cent."

But it didn't end there. 50 Cent replied to her reply, telling her he respected her husband, Dwyane Wade, and that he was "never gonna argue" with her. Erm, seems a little late for that!

Gabrielle Union vs. The Refs

Gabrielle Union knows best! And the referees in the NBA found that out the hard way in April 2016. Union got into a heated exchange with the official Twitter account of NBA's refs after a no-call on the Heat guard for her husband, Dwyane Wade — and it's safe to say she wasn't happy.

Union slammed the decision in a series of tweets, calling the decision "Absolute BS!!!!!" in one tweet. In another, she claimed that the refs who made the call "need to get fined. Period. Crappy officiating deserves a FINE and suspension." She continued to share her frustrations on the social media site alongside the hashtag "#FineEm."

But the NBA's refs were quick to fire back amid the hoopla and clearly weren't thrilled about all the noise the star had been making on social media. "The referees are not always right, but on this call we were," they bluntly hit back at the actor, tagging her account and adding, "#NBA confirms the non-call in the L2M." The account also attached a PDF file of a report from the game detailing the fouls and violations.

"Cute. Ref discipline made public/complete transparency or no sass on that front?" Union then responded in another tweet. Shots fired, once again.

Gabrielle Union's Baby Mama drama

Gabrielle Union doesn't, or at least didn't, appear to have the best relationship with Aja Métoyer, the woman her husband, Dwyane Wade, knew "for years" before he fathered a child with her while he and Union were on a break from their relationship in 2013 (per People).

But, naturally, there was also going to be some contention here, and that hit a fever pitch a year after Wade's dalliance came to light. An account claiming to belong to Métoyer tweeted a series of not exactly flattering things about Union (via Rhymes with Snitch), including telling her she would "rather not have a ring at all than to have a ring by someone who is unfaithful," seemingly referring to Wade proposing shortly after it was revealed that he and Métoyer were expecting.

However, there was some confusion over if it was all a hoax, with outlets including Hollywood Life claiming the account and tweets were all fake, since the account owner reportedly said that they weren't really Aja Métoyer.

But that's not all. In October 2021, Métoyer was accused of throwing shade again, this time on Instagram. When Union got very candid about Wade fathering a child with another woman (to promote her book, "You Got Anything Stronger?"), Métoyer appeared to chime in by liking a post that read, "just hug yo man tight cause he still miss me" (via CelebrityXO). Some thought that was her way of getting in a dig at Wade's other Baby Mama.

Who is Stacey Dash?

Stacey Dash is likely no fan of Gabrielle Union after Union threw serious shade at her on the red carpet in the wake of Dash claiming it was time to get rid of both the BET network and Black History Month during a "Fox & Friends" segment. This all went down in January 2016 when Union was asked for her opinion on the "Clueless" actor's comments during a red carpet event, to which she sassily replied, "Who is that? Who's Stacey Dash? Is she related to [music producer] Dame Dash? Was she on Roc-A-Fella [Records]?" (via The Wrap).

Union then continued with potentially her shadiest comment of all, stating, "I heard of a crazy lady once, maybe last week, but I don't know what her name is." That all got a lot of attention, to the point where "#WhoIsStaceyDash" started trending on Twitter and Facebook. 

Dash didn't seem to directly respond to Union, but did call out all those who had comments for her in her Patheos blog. She claimed "all the same usual Twitter haters came out of the woodwork to troll me and say all sorts of disgusting things about me," adding, "Well, if you're going to call me ignorant, stupid, and an Uncle Tom, you need to be intellectually honest and also call out Morgan Freeman." She then turned readers' attention to Freeman calling Black History Month "ridiculous" during a 2006 "60 Minutes" interview.

One thing we've learned? Don't mess with Gabrielle Union!