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NBC Responds To Sharon Osbourne's Discrimination Accusation
After the article the NY Post ran, which quotes America's Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne as stating that NBC discriminated against her son Jack when they decided not to allow him to join the cast of their upcoming celebrity reality competition series Stars Earns Stripes, it seemed inevitable that NBC would respond back with their own official statement on the matter. And sure enough, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt has something to say on the matter.
The Post's article linked Osbourne's decision not to return to her judging role in NBC's talent competition series America's Got Talent with NBC's choice not to allow her son Jack Osbourne to be among the contestants of Stars Earn Stripes, a reality competition series that has celebrities competing in military-inspired exercises. Sharon Osbourne called it discrimination, as NBC's choice to exclude Jack from the series had to do with his multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Deadline posted the statement NBC's Greenblatt released, responding to the situation.
“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. This network does not discriminate on any basis.”
It's easy to see NBC's caution in this situation as much as it's easy to understand Sharon Osbourne's outrage and frustration over how her son was reportedly treated. The tone of Greenblatt's statement, which includes expressing NBC's affection for Sharon Osbourne, suggests that they're looking to smooth the situation over and leave things on good (or better) terms. Perhaps that's at least partially in the interest of trying to work things out with Sharon, who is still technically under contract for her role on AGT. As of right now though, it seems like she's ready to move on from the series after this season. We'll have to wait and see if anything further develops from this on either side.
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