Following several weeks of “internal investigation” by CBS, the network has announced that Sharon Osbourne will no longer co-host their popular program The Talk. She has been part of the show for eleven seasons, and is the sole remaining original host.
The program, which has been on hiatus since March 12, will resume taping on April 12.
Says the network in a statement:
“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.”
Osbourne’s troubles began earlier this month, when she defended Piers Morgan from claims that his ongoing attacks against Meghan Markle are implicitly, if not explicitly, racist.
Osbourne vocally defended Morgan on Twitter, which led to a heated on-air debate with co-host Sheryl Underwood, who is Black. After Underwood told Osbourne that “while you are standing by you your friend, it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist,” Osbourne fired back, according to Deadline:
“’I feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is racist, so that makes me a racist,’ Osbourne said, before asking Underwood to be precise about how Morgan has been racist.
“’I will ask you again Sheryl… and don’t try and cry because if anyone should be crying, it should be me. This is the situation, you tell me where you have heard him say racist things. Educate me,’ Osbourne said. Underwood replied that it wasn’t ‘exact words of racism’ but ‘the implication and the reaction to it.’”
Following a “a closed-door meeting among the hosts” after the show, Osbourne tweeted out an apology to “anyone of colour that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused, or let down by what I said.” She blamed her comments on feeling “panicked” and “blindsided” by the discussion, and says she thus “got defensive.”
But Osbourne’s problems did not end there. On Friday, March 12, one of The Talk‘s former co-hosts, Holly Robinson Peete — who is also Black — alleged that Osbourne “complained that I was too ‘ghetto’” for the show. She also implied that Osbourne was responsible for her departure from the program.
Since then, journalist Yashar Ali has posted a Substack which details a history of Osbourne making bigoted comments. The report cites eleven sources — including former The Talk co-host Leah Remini — who say that Osbourne “would frequently refer to then-co-host Julie Chen, who is Chinese American, as ‘wonton’ and ‘slanty eyes,’” and would call Sara Gilbert — the show’s creator, executive producer, and former co-host, who just so happens to be a lesbian — a “pussy licker” and a “fish eater.”
In a recent interview with The Daily Mail, Osbourne calls the allegations against her “crap”:
“Everyone’s got an opinion or a story like the wonton story. It’s like fuck off with your fucking wonton story. Fuck off!”
She went on to allege that the show’s producers and network executives deliberately sabotaged her:
“Osbourne told DailyMail.com that she wasn’t warned that a debate was coming and had been prepped beforehand for four completely different segments.
“She says she was blindsided and stunned to discover her co-hosts were questioning her using cue cards on a part of the show that is usually ad-libbed.
“Osbourne says it was at this point, she realized she had been set up by producers intent on creating headlines and CBS bigwigs angry with her for defending Morgan who they believe ‘tarnished’ their top rated Markle interview with his comments.”
“It’s hurtful but the thing is, when you’re tarred with that, you can’t defend it because the more you defend it, the worse it is for you.
“You know, it’s like that line that people use – oh some of my best friends are black and you come out with ridiculous statements. Well I’m not going to do that.
“Yes, I blew my bloody wad on the show and I went nuts, I went nuts. All these thoughts were going through my head while I was answering these questions and I knew I’d been blindsided.
“They’d set me up. They’d set me up. The producers never told me. If they’d said to me, listen, the execs here aren’t happy with what’s gone on with you and Piers – we’ve got to try and sort this situation out, the girls are going to ask you these questions, blah, blah. Bring me in on it. Don’t blindside me.
“If they’d said these execs aren’t happy, I’d have worked on it with them. But give me a chance. Don’t bloody surprise attack me on national TV live for 20 minutes when it was meant to be four other segments.” “We were meant to talk about fucking Pepe Le Pew and they let this go on.”
Osbourne also claims that another one of the show’s co-hosts, Elaine Welteroth — who is also black — was “initially asked… to lead the questioning but she refused when they were unable to provide her with any evidence of Morgan’s alleged racism.
Osbourne is repped by CAA.
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March 27, 2021