Is Sharon Osbourne Really Quitting Agt ?
Sharon Osbourne is washing her hands of NBC after, she says, the network reneged on a deal to cast her son Jack on a new reality series called Stars Earn Stripes . In an interview with the New York Post , Osbourne indicated that she has told the network that she is quitting America's Got Talent after seven seasons. She claims that it had a binding verbal agreement to cast Jack on the show but that it backed out after learning that Jack had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. "It's discrimination," Osbourne told the Post , "and it was badly handled." In a statement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said that the show puts its stars through intense military-like training. "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." Implying that Jack flunked the medical tests, Greenblatt said that the producers offered him "two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined." The NBC exec did not specify what sort of roles had been offered. However, he insisted, "This network does not discriminate on any basis." It was hard to determine how resolved Osbourne is about leaving. Asked about Osbourne's announcements that she is leaving, Piers Morgan, her onetime co-judge on the AGT panel, has said that she tends to overdramatize things and is unpredictable. Several reports indicated that she is contractually obligated to appear on the show through next year at least. Commented the Los Angeles Times , "It's unclear whether and under what terms she could leave sooner than that."