The Talk's Sharon Osbourne Apologizes for Contentious Racism Debate With Sheryl Underwood: 'I Am Still Learning'

Sharon Osbourne Piers Morgan Racism

A heated debate about racism, Piers Morgan and the royal family on Wednesday’s The Talk has prompted co-host Sharon Osbourne to apologize for her part in the discussion.

In a tweet on Friday, Osbourne addressed the uncomfortable conversation she had with her co-hosts, particularly Sheryl Underwood, as they discussed whether British TV personality Piers Morgan had made racist comments about Meghan Markle. Osbourne, seemingly concerned that she was being deemed racist herself for defending Morgan, repeatedly spoke over Underwood during the conversation, prompting criticism on social media about Osbourne’s behavior. (You can watch their full discussion below.)

“After some reflection, after sitting with your comments and sitting with my heart, I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday,” Osbourne began in her follow-up post. “I have always been embraced with so much love and support from the Black community and I have deep respect and love for the Black community. To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry.”

Osbourne added that she felt “panicked” and “blindsided” at the notion of being called racist, thus she “got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over,” she said. “There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast! I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us and will continue to learn, listen and do better.”

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Following Oprah Winfrey’s revealing interview with Markle and Prince Harry on Sunday, Morgan made headlines for his frustration over the interview, which he called “a two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the Queen has worked so hard for.” He also said he didn’t believe that Markle ever struggled with suicidal thoughts, which led to backlash from his own co-hosts on Good Morning Britain, a formal investigation into Morgan’s comments and, ultimately, Morgan’s decision to part ways with the ITV morning show altogether.

Osbourne came to Morgan’s defense in a tweet earlier this week, writing, “I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.” In her apology on Friday, she also addressed that tweet, clarifying the intent behind her words.

“Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying. I should have been more specific about that in my tweet,” she continued. “I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction. I hope we can collectively continue to learn from each other and from ourselves so we can all continue to pave the way for much-needed growth and change.”