entertainment 1 month ago

‘AGT’ Alum Sharon Osbourne Rips Simon Cowell And The NBC Show’s “Boys Club”

Deadline — Anita Bennett

Sharon Osbourne unloaded on Simon Cowell and America’s Got Talent Tuesday in the wake of Gabrielle Union’s firing from the series.

Osbourne — who spent six years as a judge on the NBC competition show — said it’s run like a “boys club.”

“It is a boys club, okay, it is,” Osbourne said Tuesday on The Talk. “And 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.”

As she sat at The Talk‘s round table with Sheryl Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Marie Osmond, and guest co-host Brigitte Nielsen, Osbourne noted that AGT creator Cowell wasn’t on the judging panel when the series had its highest ratings.

“Simon owns the show, and the time I was there, Simon was never on the show. So when the show was doing 16 million, 14 million, Simon was never there,” she said. “I just go back to Simon’s shows, The X Factor, he brought to America, every time it came on, I think there were three seasons, different little girls.”

Osbourne took another jab at Cowell, saying he filled the judging panel on X Factor with older men and much younger women.

“There was him, L.A. Reid, who’s an older man, and in between them was Demi Lovato and Britney Spears,” she said. “Now, the guys looked like two high rollers in Vegas who picked up a couple of kids.”

The outspoken talk show co-host wasn’t done.

“They looked like dirty old men beside these two little girls,” she 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’ and excuse me, but these are kids. They can’t be judging other kids, no matter how successful they are.”

She continued by saying America’s Got Talent treats male judges better than the women, and used Howie Mandel as an example.

“They brought Howie in. He got his own plane. I love Howie, and I don’t begrudge anyone earning what they earn,” she said. “But, when my old ass has been there, building the show, and I get an American Airlines ticket and he’s in a private plane. And I get that because I’m me and I’m not in the club.”

Inaba then read a statement from NBC that the network previously released saying it “has a long history of inclusivity and diversity” amid the storm surrounding Union’s exit.

Osbourne’s response: “NBC can kiss my ass.”

A day earlier, she noted on The Talk that she enjoyed working with the crew on AGT.

[Watch Monday’s video below]

“I left because of NBC, not because of the show. However, I had my own problems with the network,” she said.

Still, Osbourne admitted she couldn’t speak to Union’s allegations about the “toxic” environment at the series.

“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,” she explained. “But 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.”

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.