UPDATE: NBC responded late Monday to Sharon Osbourne’s allegations in a statement from Robert Greenblatt, NBC’s President of Entertainment.
“This network does not discriminate on any basis,” he said.
“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. 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.”
The mystery surrounding the Sharon Osbourne saga deepened Monday with a report that claims the TV personality is quitting “America’s Got Talent” because she’s upset with NBC over how the network treated her son Jack who was in talks to appear on a new NBC reality show.
Jack Osbourne, 26, had been in discussions to be a contestant on the upcoming military-themed competition “Stars Earn Stripes” before he disclosed that he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
According to The New York Post, Mama Osbourne is angry that Jack was cut from the show, claiming he was fired via email two days before he was to report for duty.
“I just can’t be fake,” Osbourne told the Post. “It’s discrimination, and it was badly handled.”
“It’s time to move on,” she said.
Osbourne wrote Monday afternoon on Twitter, “Please don’t misunderstand. I love @nbcagt w/ all my heart and will of course finish out the season. It is still one of the best shows on tv.”
She added, “I love @nbcagt @howiemandel @HowardStern & @NickCannon. We have the world’s best crew. And most importantly, we have the best talent on tv.”
“Stripes” producer David Hurwitz told TV reporters while promoting the show two weeks ago that while they were “in talks” with Jack, he was never officially hired to appear on the show, which pits celebrities against each other in military training exercises.
The Post quotes Huritz as saying the agreement with Jack fell through because “the rigors of the show were too intense for him.”
Both Osbournes concede that there wasn’t an official signed contract between Jack and NBC but there was a verbal commitment, as well as an email to Jack from an NBC exec that reportedly said, “We are looking forward to working with you,” and “I am happy you are going to be in the NBC family.”
An NBC rep told xfinityTV on Monday that they have no comment on the story.
Sharon kick-started a firestorm of speculation about her future on “AGT” by announcing on July 24 that she was not returning to the show. In a cryptic Tweet to fellow “AGT” judge Howard Stern, Osbourne wrote: “My darling @HowardStern, money is not the reason I’m not returning to @nbcagt, it’s because….”
In an interview last week with xfinityTV, Osbourne, 59, told us that she she hasn’t been asked to return to “AGT,” while new judge Howard Stern has.
Osbourne also expressed her love for the show but she has to think of herself and her family first: “I love the show. It is actually personally my favorite show on TV. I love what the show does. I love the people I work with but I have to think about me and what I want to do.”
“Stars Earn Stripes” debuts Monday, August 13 at 8/7c on NBC. “America’s Got Talent” returns with new episodes on Tuesday, August 14 after NBC’s Olympics coverage wraps.