NBC denies Sharon Osbourne's discrimination claim about Jack Osbourne
UPI News Service, 08/07/2012
NBC says it didn't discriminate against Jack Osbourne by trying to find a non-physical role for him on the U.S. competition series "Stars Earn Stripes."
Jack Osbourne, 26, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and has suffered from depression and battled an addiction to drugs in the past.
His mother, Sharon Osbourne, said she is leaving NBC and "America's Got Talent" at the end of this season because the network discriminated against her son by not letting him compete on "Stars Earn Stripes," in which celebrities participate in military-like challenges.
"I just can't be fake," Sharon Osbourne told the New York Post Monday. "It's discrimination and it was badly handled. ... It's time to move on. They can't make me do something I don't want to do. All they can do is stop be from being a judge on another network for five years."
NBC swiftly denied Sharon Osbourne's allegations.
"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," The Hollywood Reporter quoted NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt as saying.
"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."