Sharon Osbourne leaving ‘The Talk’ following racism controversy

Nation and World News

LOS ANGELES – FEBRUARY 19: “The Talk,” Friday, February 19th, 2021 on the CBS Television Network. Sharon Osbourne, shown. Guests: Storm Reid and Ross Butler. (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Sharon Osbourne is out at “The Talk” on the heels of her heated on-air defense of friend Piers Morgan during which she demanded that fellow host Sheryl Underwood, who is Black, explain the allegations of racism against him.

“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk,” according to a CBS statement obtained by Nexstar, that continues:

“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home. As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.

At the same time, we acknowledge the network and studio teams, as well as the showrunners, are accountable for what happened during that broadcast as it was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.

During this week’s hiatus, we are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew. Going forward, we are identifying plans to enhance the producing staff and producing procedures to better serve the hosts, the production and, ultimately, our viewers.”

News of Osbourne’s exit comes two weeks after Osbourne went off the rails, prompting CBS to announce that the daytime show would stay on hiatus for another week while the network conducted an internal investigation.

During the March 10 episode, Osbourne reacted angrily to a discussion about British television personality Piers Morgan, who she described as a friend. Morgan left the “Good Morning Britain” show after he said he didn’t believe Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, when she said in an interview that she had considered suicide when unhappy with her life in Britain’s royal family.

Underwood said to Osbourne, “what would you say to people who may feel that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?”

Osbourne replied angrily, using words that were bleeped out, and said she felt like she was being placed on “the electric chair” for having a friend that some people think is racist.

The emotional discussion continued after a commercial break. At one point Osbourne said to Underwood, “don’t try to cry. If anyone should be crying, it should be me.”

Osbourne claimed later that the show’s producers told her offscreen that CBS had ordered she be confronted about her support for Morgan, an allegation CBS refuted in its most recent statement. She posted the following message on social media after the incident:

Journalist Yashar Ali posted a story saying that Osbourne, wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne who came to fame during MTV’s series about the family, has a history of making culturally offensive and bullying comments.

In response to that story, Osbourne spokesman Howard Bragman said she is “disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment.”

According to Friday’s statement from CBS, “The Talk” will return with original episodes on Monday, April 12 following the pre-scheduled hiatus the week of April 5th.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DOWNLOAD THE APP!

Click for latest news and information

Join our daily newsletter!