Former “America’s Got Talent” judge Sharon Osbourne chimed in about the Gabrielle Union firing controversy Tuesday, calling the NBC reality competition show “a boys’ club.”
“It is a boys’ club, okay, it is,” Osbourne said on Tuesday’s episode of “The Talk,” which she hosts along with Sheryl Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Marie Osmond, and guest host Brigitte Nielsen. “The boys take care of each other, and the women are not paid as much as the men. I was on the show before Howie [Mandel] … I was one of them that helped put the show where it was.” You can watch the video above.
She went on to criticize creator and current judge Simon Cowell, who she says “was never there” when the show had viewers in the 14-16 million range. She also dug into Cowell’s time on the U.S. version of “The X Factor.”
“There was him, L.A. Reid, who’s an older man, and in between them was Demi Lovato and Britney Spears… The guys looked like two high rollers in Vegas who picked up a couple of kids,” Obsourne said. “I told L.A. Reid and I told Simon — it’s nothing I wouldn’t say to their face — ‘You look like two dirty old men’ … these are kids.”
She also made noted how some judges were accommodated better than others on “America’s Got Talent.”
“They brought Howie in. He got his own plane. I love Howie, and I don’t begrudge anyone earning what they earn… But, when my old ass has been there shooting the show, and I get an American Airlines ticket and he gets a private plane. And I get that because I’m me and I’m not in the club,” she said. “NBC can kiss my ass.”
Osbourne also touched on the subject in Monday’s episode of “The Talk,” noting that she left after six years “because of NBC, not because of the show.” She added, “When I was there it was, you know, a great show to work on. The crew and everybody was amazing to me, everybody, except the network.”
Meanwhile, on “The View,” journalist Ronan Farrow — who accuses NBC News of attempting to squash his reporting on Harvey Weinstein in his book “Catch and Kill” — weighed in about the network’s practices. You can watch the video here.
“It’s no secret that I’ve done a bunch of reporting on a number of media companies,” Farrow said. “It is very clear that source after source is saying there is a systemic cultural problem with this kind of toxicity at NBC… it is across the board,” he said. “They had a bunch of secret settlements with people with harassment or discrimination complaints,” Farrow adds. “They have refused outside investigations, and I think we’re seeing the consequences of what happens when you sweep these kinds of problems under the rug.”
On Monday, a person close to production told TheWrap that NBC has plans to meet with Union to discuss her exit from the show.
Last week, an NBC spokesperson told TheWrap: “‘America’s Got Talent’ has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”