Sharon Osbourne, one of America's Got Talent
's long-time judges, is officially leaving the series as a result of NBC's treatment of her son. As first reported by the New York Post
, Jack Osbourne was in talks to star in the network's new reality series Stars Earn Stripes
(a show about celebrities compete in military training exercises), but according to the AGT
judge, he was fired two days before he was to start filming.
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Though the Osbournes admit there was no formally signed contract, they claim they were operating on a verbal commitment in good faith, something Osbourne says is commonplace. "I was working without a signed contract right up until the live shows started on America's Got Talent
," she said. "Everything is done last minute."
But the Peacock is telling a slightly different story, claiming Jack was never official hired. In a statement released a day after Osbourne announced her departure, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says Jack was ultimately not asked to participate in the competition, explaining the new show's "dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity and live ammunition" as reasons for a medical vetting process. Though Greenblatt did not directly relate this to Jack's involvement with the show (citing medical confidentiality), he did claim the network offered Jack "two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined."
Osbourne maintains NBC handled the situation poorly, believing Jack's public disclosure of his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in June played a role. "It's discrimination," she said. To this, Greenblatt's statement responded, "This network does not discriminate on any basis." Jack claims he offered to purchase his own insurance policy for the show, but to no avail.
Though Osbourne is still under contract for AGT
, she says she "just can't be fake," and that the only thing the network can do is stop her from being a judge on another network for five years. "It's time to move on," she said.
"We have the deepest affection for Sharon Osbourne and consider her to be part of the NBC family," began Greenblatt's statement. "And our hearts go out to her, Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time."
(Image courtesy of NBC)