Sharon Osbourne is the latest celebrity to speak out about NBC following the firing of Gabrielle Union as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.” Osbourne was a judge herself on the talent competition show from Season 2 through Season 7 and departed in 2012. She says the cast and crew of the show itself was great, but she had her own problems with the network itself.
"Everybody's experience on a show is different, and I was at that show for six years. I didn't get let go," she said on Monday’s episode of “The Talk.” "I left. And that's the truth. I left because NBC, not because of the show. I had my own problems with the network," she said. "I don't know about any of her concerns about the show."
"Obviously, there wasn't anybody of color on the panel when I was there. So I honestly can't say. But when I was there it was, you know, a great show to work on," she continued. "The crew and everybody was amazing to me, everybody, except the network."
Co-host Sheryl Underwood chimed in to defend Union. "I am always proud when someone in the workplace has the courage to stand up for what is right,” she said. “It's something that we need to talk about... things that are appropriate and things that are inappropriate."
PopCulture.com writes that Osbourne’s issues with the network stem from an incident in 2012:
In 2012, Osbourne revealed that her reason for leaving AGT had to do with her son Jack Osbourne, telling the New York Post that Jack was set to work on a new reality TV series Stars Earn Stripes — which pit celebrities against each other in military-like training activities — but she said the network cut ties with him after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She said Jack was fired by email just two days before he was scheduled to report to work.
"I just can't be fake," Osbourne told the New York Post at the time. "It's discrimination, and it was badly handled."
The “America's Got Talent” controversy started last week when Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough were let go as judges. Variety reports that Union was fired for reporting what she alleges was racially insensitive incidents, including being told her hairstyles were “too black” for the show’s viewers. She also allegedly reported a racially charged joke made by guest judge Jay Leno that was later edited out of the show.