Yesterday, news broke that not only was Sharon Osbourne indeed parting ways with NBC reality competition series America's Got Talent, but that she was doing it for a very specific reason. Her son Jack had been all set to participate in a new celebrity reality show called Stars Earn Stripes for the network, in which TV personalities would compete in military training exercises. That is, until his recent public reveal of his multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Following that interview, Jack found himself abruptly jettisoned from the cast, due to medical insurance reasons. This is despite the fact that Obsourne already had to pass a rigorous round of fitness tests to even qualify for the show.
Anyway, Sharon was none too pleased with NBC's decision, and cites it as the major factor behind her quitting the series. While she remains under contract, she can't be forced to come to work, and the most NBC can do is bar her from working for another TV network during the duration of her deal. This obviously wouldn't matter much to someone as rich as Sharon Osbourne.
Now, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt has seen fit to speak publicly on the matter for the first time, and obviously try to do a little corporate damage control - "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."
I can kind of see both sides here. Osbourne had been deemed physically capable prior to going public with his diagnosis, and rightly feels he should be allowed to participate. He has also expressed his desire to serve as a public example of what people with MS are capable of. That said, I can also understand NBC's worry about harm coming to a seriously ill contestant on one of their primetime series, and what type of fallout that might bring to the network.
So, what do you guys and gals think? Was NBC right to remove Jack from Stars Earn Stripes? Does Jack Osbourne have a legitimate grievance with NBC? Or do both sides make valid points?