Photo Credit: Dave Kotinsky/FilmMagic
For a few weeks now, we've known that Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave America's Got Talent. This week, we're finding out why. Back on July 24th, she offered up this cryptic tweet: "My darling @HowardStern, money is not the reason I'm not returning to @nbcagt, it's because…"
Turns out it's because…her son Jack has been declared unfit to serve in a TV army. So Sharon has declared war -- well, the Hollywood biz version.
According to the Osbournes, Jack was all set to participate in NBC's new reality show, Stars Earn Stripes (premiering Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. ET), in which celebrities (including Nick Lachey, Dean Cain, and Todd Palin) are pitted against one another in military-style challenges. Then, in June, Jack went public with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Soon thereafter, he says, producers dropped him from the show, and told him about it in an email.
No mom would be happy to hear such news. But Jack's mom is in a unique position to express her disappointment, since she happens to be a well-liked judge on NBC's top-rated summer show.
Producer David Hurwitz recalls a different version of events. "He was somebody we were in talks with," Hurwitz said during a Stars Earn Stripes press conference last month. But no contract had been signed. (Sharon and Jack acknowledge that the contract hadn't been nailed down, but they said that Jack and the show's producers had all agreed verbally to move forward. "I was working without a signed contract right up until the live shows started on America’s Got Talent" Osbourne said. "Everything is done at the last minute.")
Meanwhile, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has come out in support of the show's producers. "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," he said in a statement. "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."
But as of Tuesday, Jack wasn't buying it. "I took part in a 16 hr challenge over 30 miles with a 40lbs ruck on my back in Jan. I had MS then. Don't tell me wot physically demanding is," he tweeted.
Now he's calling on Twitter followers to boycott NBC.
But let's be honest, it's his mother's boycott of AGT that sends the biggest message. And she's not afraid to break her contract with the show. "They can’t make me do something I don’t want to do," she insisted. "All they can do is stop me from being a judge on another network for five years."
Guess it's true: Hell has no fury like a mother scorned -- especially this mother!