Sharon Osbourne Weighs in on Gabrielle Union as Booted AGT Judge Sets Up Meeting with Network – TooFab

Former judge Sharon Osbourne is the latest to speak out after the ongoing controversy surrounding the latest round of judge ousters on “America’s Got Talent.” In particular, several reports have stated that Gabrielle Union was let go for speaking out too much over perceived instances of racism and insensitivity.

Osbourne, who was with the show for six seasons early in its run — though her tenure never overlapped with creator Simon Cowell — who joined with Season 11 — said that she had her problems as well, but they weren’t with the show itself. It was issues with the network that convinced her to go.

“I left. And that’s the truth. I left because NBC, not because of the show,” she explained Monday on “The Talk.” “I had my own problems with the network. I don’t know about any of [Union’s] concerns about the show.”

She went on to say that she did have to qualify her statements by pointing out there was no one of color on the panel during her tenure. “So, I honestly can’t say,” she said. “But when I was there it was, you know, a great show to work on.”

Osbourne shared the judging dais from Seasons 2 through 7 with Piers Morgan, David Hasselhoff, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern. While Jerry Spring was host when she started, Nick Cannon took over with Season 4. He would, in turn, leave after the 11th season (Cowell’s first) alleging that he was being pressured by network executives after an off-color joke he performed in his stand-up routine, and it wasn’t the first time.

The network responded to the allegations with a new statement on Monday: “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the joint statement with Cowell’s compnay Syco and Fremantle read. “We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”

Union is reportedly meeting with NBC’s legal representatives this week in an effort “to improve the culture and atmosphere on the competition series,” per Deadline. She is not expected to return to the show.

According to the report NBC is investigating all kinds of allegations that have erupted from the scandal, including claims Simon Cowell illegally smoked indoors, Union was advised her hair choices were “too black,” and what happened when Union met Cowell to address her concerns at his home and he allegedly told her to only bring her concerns to him, not NBC.

They also reportedly want to know who leaked Jay Leno’s purported racist joke — that was never aired — to the media.

The network reportedly has brought in outside counsel for this investigation, indicating a desire to be as unbiased as possible as they dig into the serious allegations that have fired up Hollywood, Time’s Up and Union’s fans across social media. Cowell has yet to comment publicly

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