There is some full blown drama with America’s Got Talent. Long time judge Sharon Osbourne has quit, accusing NBC of discriminating against her son Jack Osbourne in light of his recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
According to Sharon, Jack was in negotiations with NBC to star alongside Nick Lachey and Dean Cain (now that would be quite a trio!) in a military-inspired reality show called Stars Earn Stripes. However, after Jack found he had MS, the network basically handed him his walking papers. If that is the case, shame on you, NBC! Of course, the show’s producer David Hurwitz claims that a deal with Jack was never finalized.
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RadarOnline.com reports that Sharon isn’t going to go quietly, and can you blame her? The always straight-shooting matriarch says, “I just can’t be fake … it’s discrimination, and it was badly handled … it’s time to move on.”
She reveals that she will be breaking her contract to sever ties with the network, stating, “[A]ll [NBC] can do is stop me from being a judge on another network for five years. They can’t make me do something I don’t want to do.”
The Stars Earn Stripes’ producer admits, “He was somebody we were in talks with,” but reiterates that no deal was ever inked. In fact, in light of Sharon’s anger, NBC even offered to pay Jack’s salary for the show. Hmmm…that isn’t something the network should offer if it wasn’t feeling guilty about giving Jack the boot, don’t you agree?
Of course, as Sharon explains, it was never about the money. It was about the principle. She states, “[Jack] didn’t want the money. He wanted his gig. It gave him something to look forward to when he was diagnosed. Think of the good that it could have done to show other people who have this [condition] that your life is not over.”
The peacock is trying to avoid any negative publicity from the incident, and recently released the following statement: “Sharon has been a valuable part of the NBC family. We regret any misunderstanding and wish Jack well.” Yikes. Awkward!
While NBC is trying to keep it classy, the network is firing back to make it known that Jack was never fired. According to TMZ, NBC does admit that it did consider Jack’s diagnosis in the decision not to cast him. The network states, “We hold medical information in strict confidence and therefore cannot comment specifically about Jack, but as a company that cares deeply about the health and safety of everyone on our shows — especially one like Stars Earn Stripes that requires dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity, and uses live ammunition — we required all potential participants to undergo medical vetting to ensure that they could safely participate.”
Continuing, the statement reads, “Although we did not ask Jack to participate in the competition, we were able to offer him two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined. This network does not discriminate on any basis.”
In conclusion, NBC adds, “Our hearts go out to [Sharon], Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time.” Wow this a tough one.
TELL US-WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? AN UNDERSTANDABLY PROTECTIVE MAMA BEAR OSBORNE OR A NETWORK THAT DOESN’T WANT TO ENDANGER A REALITY STAR?
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