NBC's Paul Telegdy under fire for 'homophobic, sexist behavior'
NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy will be investigated for his alleged sexist and homophobic behavior as pointed out by multiple former and present employees of the company, an NBC representative said on Friday. The executive producer of reality show America's Got Talent (AGT) was called out earlier as well for his misogynistic, racist, and homophobic attitude towards employees and co-judges that pollute workplace environment.
This time, a fresh set of allegations from former America's Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne apparently has opened a can of worms for Telegdy's inappropriate behavior on and off the set of the hugely popular reality TV show. NBC has responded that they will investigate all these matters seriously and that the company roots for an inclusive and dynamic workplace.
"NBCUniversal takes these matters seriously, and will investigate these allegations, many of which are coming to our attention for the first time. NBCUniversal remains committed to creating a safe, respectful, and supportive workplace for all," the company said in their statement.
Coming back to Osbourne, she told The Hollywood Reporter that Telegdy told her, "Go, f**k yourself," and threatened to kick her out of AGT after she decided to call the media because the network dropped her son Jack from Stars Earn Stripes after he revealed he had multiple sclerosis. Recalling her first professional dinner meet with Telegdy, she said that it was uncomfortable.
Elaborating further, Osbourne said that Teledgy had arrived late to the dinner "with this tittering girl at his side." "She was on his knee the whole evening and he had his tongue down her throat and that was my introduction to Paul Telegdy. If that had been a woman, she would have been let go the next day," the renowned TV personality said.
Osbourne's allegations follow that of AGT judge Gabrielle Union, who was also allegedly threatened and sacked by Telegdy's team after she wanted to report a racist comment by comedian Jay Leno on the sets of AGT Season 14. Several NBC employees support these claims, adding how Telegdy mocks gay professionals by aping their voices and sharing inappropriate remarks about women's genitals with female producers.
After the allegations surfaced, NBC had said that an outside investigation found no proof of racism against Union. Meanwhile, Telegdy has rubbished the latest allegations leveled by Osbourne. The accused executive of Ellen's Game of Games and The Voice fame said his body of work to create good shows and promote an inclusive environment should silence the accusers.
"I hope that my actions over decades — empowering those around me, supporting artists, and creating shows with values of aspiration and inclusion at the core — speak louder than the selective words of a few," Telegdy said in his statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
This development comes at a time when NBC is planning a reshuffle in its employment hierarchy in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, insiders are of the view that the network wouldn't want to soil its reputation by taking extreme action against Telegdy right now. However, the allegations against the executive producer doesn't reflect the culture of NBC Entertainment, a company spokesperson added.