Former America’s Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne had her say about Gabrielle Union’s controversial departure from the show on Monday, admitting she had her “own problems” with network NBC.
The Bring It On actress was recently dropped from the line-up of Simon Cowell’s talent series after one season, amid reports suggesting she was axed for making multiple complaints to TV bosses about the “toxic” workplace culture.
Since then, numerous stars have come forward to back Union and her alleged stand against NBC, and Sharon was asked for her take on the scandal on U.S. TV chat show The Talk on Monday.
Sharon, who was a judge on the programme for six years, told her fellow panellists that it was her decision to leave the series, but added she had a few issues with NBC herself.
“It’s hard, because everybody’s experience on a show is different, and I was at that show for six years. I didn’t get let go. However, I left. And that’s the truth. I left because of NBC, not because of the show. However, I had my own problems with the network,” she said.
“I don’t know about any of her concerns about the show. Obviously, there wasn’t anybody of colour on the panel when I was there. So, I honestly can’t say. 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. I can only speak to my experience. It was a great show.”
One of the things Union is said to have complained about was a racially insensitive joke made by Jay Leno during his time as a guest judge on the show. But as he was asked about the headlines by paparazzi on Monday, Leno refused to be drawn on the alleged quip, instead insisting: “I love Gabrielle Union. She’s a great girl. I really enjoyed working with her.”
As he was pushed for an answer about whether or not Union was treated fairly by the show in the video obtained by TMZ, Leno played it safe as he answered: “I don’t know.”