Monday, May 20, 2013
After seven seasons on America's Got Talent, Sharon Osbourne announced in late July via a Tweet to fellow judge Howard Stern that she wouldn't be returning to the show, writing cryptically, "My darling @howardstern, money is not the reason I'm not returning to @nbcagt, it's because ..." Now we know the reason the acerbic Brit won't take her seat between Stern and Howie Mandel. In a familial show of solidarity, Osbourne is quitting because she claims her son Jack was discriminated against in his quest to join the NBC show Stars Earn Stripes. She told the New York Post that Jack had entered a "verbal agreement" to appear on the reality show, which puts celebrities through the rigors of military training and challenges. In May, Jack believed he had a lock on the show, but when he went public with his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, that's when things reportedly went south. He claimed he was fired from the show when he divulged the diagnosis on his mom's show, The Talk. No contract was ever signed, both sides admit, but the Osbournes were still incensed. "I just can’t be fake," Sharon told the Post. "It’s discrimination, and it was badly handled." NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt told TMZ, "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." The statement continued, "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."