August 7th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

NBC responds to Sharon Osbourne's discrimination claims

Sharon Osbourne hinted about two weeks back that she wasn't returning as a judge for "America's Got Talent," but at the time played it fairly coy.

On Monday, however, Osbourne was reportedly much more forthright, telling the New York Post that her decision to move on was prompted by the way "AGT's" network, NBC, handled a potential casting for her son Jack on the network's new show, "Stars Earn Stripes."

Osbourne told the paper that her 26-year-old son was fired from the program after he revealed his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in June, and that the decision was delivered via email two days prior to his start date.

The New York Post adds that after meeting with NBC execs about it, Osbourne ultimately decided to leave "America's Got Talent."

"I just can't be fake," Osbourne is quoted as saying. "It's discrimination, and it was badly handled."

In a statement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt has refuted the discrimination claim.

“First, we have the deepest affection for Sharon Osbourne and consider her to be part of the NBC family. And our hearts go out to her, Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time," Greenblatt said. "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. 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.”

On her Twitter account, Osbourne clarified that she loves "America's Got Talent" with "all my heart and will of course finish out the season. It is still one of the best shows on tv ... I love @nbcagt @howiemandel @HowardStern & @NickCannon. We have the world's best crew. And most importantly, we have the best talent on tv."

She added Monday evening, "Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of support and love."


Filed under: Celebrities • television

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soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. dress suits

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    October 27, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. the_dude

    How can it be a reality show if we never saw Ozzy or any other of the coat-tail riders actually drunk or high on drugs? Seems like the entire family is/was hooked on something at some point. What a family to be proud of.....

    September 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dirty Joe

    This isn't discrimination. Sharon needs to brush up on her legal terms.

    He physically was not able to perform the essential functions of the job (jumping out of helicopters, blah, blah, blah).

    September 5, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. bannister

    If NBC had accepted her son – and he had died as a result – Sharon Osborne would have been the first to sue NBC for BILLIONS.

    NBC did the right thing – for their shareholders AND for the health and safety of Jack Osborne.

    August 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jwestm

    Awwwwww are the untalented multimillionaries that live off ozzies money and success having a tough day??? When will their 15 minutes be up?

    August 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fess Up

    Why don't they do a family show of the reality of doing heavy drugs and its effects, their whole family are drug addictsd

    August 15, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Natalie

    He should determine his physical limitations, not NBC (and not his mom either). I have MS – diagnosed in 2010. I'm a runner and continued to train for and complete the Chicago Marathon that year, as well as finish several short 8Ks, 5Ks. I'm training for the 2012 marathon this year. I've had no issues since my initial symptoms more than two years ago so why shouldn't I run? http://mystoryms.wordpress.com/

    August 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • gremlinus

      That's fine, but you take the risk yourself. NBC would be legally responsible for him in a lot of situations and the people insuring the show would hike the rates for sure. He can do all of this stuff if he wants, but if someone is financially tied to him, I think they at least have a say.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob

      It's great that you're dealing with your MS, however that doesn't change the fact that NBC has to protect themselves against certain liabilities. Multiple Sclerosis attacks are unpredictable and some of the things he would have to do could be very dangerous if an attack occurs.

      September 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ben from Baltimore

    I believe Sharon. With all the bad decisions being made at NBC lately-NBC (and allegedly Matt Lauer) booting Ann Curry from the Today Show anchor chair, 3 deceptively edited tapes being aired, one of them being a 911 call tape from the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, the NBCOlympics.com live streaming being a complete choppy failure, and the head honchos releasing one unbelievable statement after another in a failed attempt at damage control, Sharon telling on NBC is going to hurt NBC even more. Even the National MS Society is going after NBC on this one.

    August 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. maximillion

    Awl, her boy is growing up to a real live man. Hmmmm.

    August 9, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jo

    I love the good old days, when everyone didn't have @ before their name. It was a little more personal.

    August 9, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. mememememe

    fire all Osbournes ,,,,talentless hacks

    August 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. truth hurts

    i've had nightmares about clowns that look like her face.

    August 9, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. GaPeach

    He was offfered two alternate roles and turned them both down! His choice!

    August 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NObody N. Particular

    To Sharon,

    If your son has MS and he's trying to get on a show which has strenuous physical requirements; I would suggest to you to talk him out of it, not get mad because NBC didn't want to get sued by you later should anything happen to Jack because of his MS diagnoses. Its called due diligence, NBC cannot allow an employee to start a job that they have reason to believe may lead to their death or serious injury because of a pre-disclosed medical condition. If you wish to leave America's Got Talent, don't do it because NBC was unfair to Jack, because given his criminal record, he probably shouldn't have even been considered for the position (with or without MS).

    August 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gina Gallon

      I agree with you on both counts. Should he get a free pass because his family comes from money? The average American can not get a free pass on bad credit, criminal background and pre-disclosed medical conditions.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • diana

      I am really choked...1st at Sharon's comment & quote"he doesn't deserve this". I AGREE but Sharon who does deserve this ????? selfish comment on ur part. Millions of ppl have M.S. And as for his being "fired", I am personally glad because he WILL get hurt. This network was fully protecting him & cudos to them being realistic & protective.

      My daughter is 35 yrs & has progressive M.S. since late teens. You have no idea how bad it can get. There will be times he's in a wheelchair & a walker.

      Especially with distress, which can exasserbate an attack. Get him into stuff like that reallity show & see what happens. You have not seen Jack in a full paralytic attach, where he can't swallow, cannot move, needs to wear a diaper, cannot eat & must be tube fed, hospitalized for 1-3 weeks. Oh there are so many more symptoms. Think of ur luv for him & dont put him in harms way.

      I's your full right to quit but it's for a STUPID reason...your son is a full grown man with a beautiful family and there are other job opportunities that wont diable him......watch ur comments Sharon...they are offensive to all M.S. victims.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dino Calaizzo

    Hell and how is your day?

    August 8, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  16. Troy

    If there is ANY reality to this new show, these spoiled stars will not be able to do what real soldiers and protectors do. I still think the show will be a watered-down version of what it's like to be in the military or a firefighter. I was in the Army and did grueling, physically demanding stuff every day for a tiny paycheck, not to mention did two tours of Afghanistan and witnessed real-life combat. If Jack Osborne has MS, he cannot be allowed to do even a part of the physical exertion. Should something happen to him, he can sue the producers and there is a big liabity knowing he has a medical condition.
    Sorry Sharon, there was no discrimination-the network is looking out for themselves by not casting that overweight, slug of a son.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  17. Clete

    It seems to me that she would appreciate the fact that NBC insured that her son was phycially able to be on a show requiring physical effort. It would appear that NBC at this point cares more about her son than she does.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  18. Sharon

    Sharon O. managed her husbands career. Ozzy was the famous one. Sharon just shoots her mouth off and i could never understand why she is in charge of new talent.

    August 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      Agreed, AGT has the worst judges possible. Sharon Osbourne makes just a good of a judge as Khloe Kardashian would the X Factor. Casting someone as a judge with NO known talent, is completely confusing and ridiculous to me. X Factor is allegedly doing the same thing.. Britney Spears? Manufactured lip-syncer as a judge? I don't watch these shows anymore since they're getting so phony and the people that are making it through have sob stories and aren't as good as the judges think they are.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  19. Leigh

    The right call was made. The kid is famous for his dad and she is famous for being the wife. Other than that, I don't see much more.

    August 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Chloe

    "I just can't be fake...it's discrimination, and it was badly handled" Sharon is quoted as saying.
    Everything about Sharon Osbourne is fake, and what is she famous for anyway except being married to an actual famous person!!! Ozzy is the REAL famous person/REAL star in that family!! But her and that ugly, trashy, foul mouthed daughter, Kelly, are constantly riding on Ozzy's coattails. I really cannot stand her or Kelly, always running their trashy ugly yaps about something. Sharon loves to throw fits, or threaten to quit shows when things don't go her way. Or when she cannot control or manipulate people or situations, she threatens and whines. NBC did the absolute right and respectable thing regarding Jack, they are looking out for his best interest and health too. Someone needs to tell Sharon that not everything is about her and the world does not revolve around her either. She and her puke daughter make me ill, both complete idiots. Love Ozzy and his music though! All the best to Jack as well, I feel sorry he has to deal with a big & foul mouthed mother 24/7.

    August 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      DANG! Say how you REALLY feel. I like Sharon....it's the kids I can do without!

      August 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  21. BOSSTHIEF

    i mean't the usual publicity stunts.

    August 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. thief

    publicity stunt

    August 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Michael

    Please stay Sharon AGT will not be the same without you. P.S. Nbc was in the right.

    August 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  24. cyndi

    sharon; sorry, but that was not discrimination – he needs a job and u are disappointed he didnt get this one; but nbc makes perfect sense; its a dangerous tv show – no discrimination here – he is not a "star" either – tv shows – please make sure your "stars" are really that – "stars" not children of famous people and substantially a star – just like "dancing with the stars" dont really have stars – rename shows

    August 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Seamusgirl

    Well, I have had MS (same kind as Jack's) for 11 years. While i think it is lovely that his Mum is trying to show him support for him and Sharon is all about the BIG EMOTIONs, I think this anger is misplaced helplessness. She is upset she cannot fix it for Jack and/or blames herself for it. My mom went thru the same stages. I wish she would reconsider and Jack should realize that NBC is right in this. Believe me you would be surprised at what you may not be able to do anymore almost as much as you are shocked at what you can do. NBC is really helping him and protecting their as**s too.

    August 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Louie Andrada

    Reblogged this on .

    August 7, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  27. Michael Mario Calaizzo

    We need to be more understanding.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  28. Måd

    Ewwww, quoting anything from the NY Post, ever. D:

    August 7, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  29. Daniel

    it only stands to reason that they would not allow him to be on that program, for the liability issues they mentioned, besides what's he famous for other than being ozzie osborne son

    August 7, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  30. yungnblonde

    There's 2 sides to every story. Too bad for everyone.

    August 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  31. Bo

    I don't think it is descrimination, but it might have been handled poorly. The fact is, the role in which he was to play requires a person of good health. NBC made the right call. No question about it.

    August 7, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |

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