Sharon Osbourne says Simon Cowell runs a 'boys club' on his shows: 'Women are not paid as much as the men'

Sharon Osbourne has criticised the way the mogul's shows are run. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
Sharon Osbourne has criticised the way the mogul's shows are run. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)

Sharon Osbourne weighed in again on the controversy surrounding Gabrielle Union's firing from America's Got Talent and called out Simon Cowell for running a "boys club" on his shows. Cowell is an executive producer of AGT and The X Factor U.K., both of which Osbourne has been a judge on.

"It is a boys club, OK? It is," Osbourne, 67, said on Tuesday's episode of US chat show The Talk. "And the boys take care of each other, and the women are not paid as much as the men."

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Osbourne appeared on AGT for six years when Cowell was only behind-the-scenes.

Read more: Sharon Osbourne shares reaction to Simon Cowell's new look following weight loss

"I was on the show before Howie [Mandel]. I was one of them that helped put the show where it was. Simon wasn't on the show. 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 jabbed. "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 there [were] different little girls."

Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell (Photo: Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)
Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell (Photo: Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)

On the first season of The X Factor U.S., Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger (who replaced Cheryl Cole midseason) were judges along with Cowell, 60, and producer L.A. Reid, 63. The women were replaced by Britney Spears and Demi Lovato who joined Cowell and Reid for Season 2.

"There was [Simon], L.A. Reid, who’s an older man, and in between them was Demi Lovato and Britney Spears," Osbourne continued. "The guys looked like two high rollers in Vegas who picked up a couple of kids. No, it's true! They looked like dirty old men beside these two little girls.”

Osbourne previously claimed Cowell had her fired from The X Factor U.K. because she was "too old." Former AGT judge Howard Stern blasted Cowell this week, alleging AGT switches out female judges for "hotter chicks and younger chicks."

"And I was open, 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,'" she added. "And excuse me, but these are kids, they can't be judging other kids no matter how successful they are."

Simon Cowell has been criticised by Sharon Osbourne. (Faye Sadou/MediaPunch /IPX)
Simon Cowell has been criticised by Sharon Osbourne. (Faye Sadou/MediaPunch /IPX)

On Monday's episode of The Talk, Osbourne said it was her decision to leave America's Got Talent because of "issues" she had with its home network, NBC. She expanded on that further Tuesday, claiming preferential treatment was given to the male stars.

"Anyway, it is a boys club. Yes, they brought Howie in, he got his own plane," Osbourne alleged. "I love Howie and I don't begrudge anyone earning what they earn. Good for you, God bless you. But, when my old ass has been there shooting 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, and I'm not one of the guys that go out looking for young women."

Osbourne clarified that it's "not Howie" who goes out looking for young women before throwing some shade at L.A. Reid.

America's Got Talent judges Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, Simon Cowell. (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
America's Got Talent judges Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, Simon Cowell. (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to NBC for comment about Osbourne's claims, but did not immediately receive a response. On The Talk, the women read the most recent statement offered by the network surrounding the controversy.

"We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture," the statement 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."

Osbourne followed that up by declaring on-air of the CBS show, "NBC can kiss my ass."

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