Though it was scheduled to return this Wednesday, The Talk now won’t resume until Tuesday, March 23, a CBS spokesperson tells TVLine.
The daytime chatfest took an unplanned break earlier this week, following a controversial interaction among the co-hosts during a conversation in the March 10 broadcast. While the hosting panel talked about British TV personality Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle, Sharon Osbourne defended Morgan and then worried aloud that she would be branded a racist for doing so. She grew louder — and frequently spoke over Sheryl Underwood, who is Black — as the segment went on. Later, social media users criticized Osbourne’s behavior.
Osbourne apologized via social media on Friday, March 12, tweeting that she felt “panicked” and “blindsided” that people might think she was racist, so she “got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over.” She added: “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.”
Then, on Tuesday, journalist Yashar Ali posted an article in which several sources — including former Talk co-host Leah Remini — stated that Osbourne contributed to making The Talk a toxic workplace, frequently using Asian slurs to refer to former co-host Julie Chen and lesbian slurs to refer to former co-host Sara Gilbert.
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In response to the article, Osbourne’s publicist issued a statement saying, “The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
The show always planned to take off Friday, March 19, and Monday, March 22, to accommodate the NCAA Tournament. In a statement regarding the hiatus extension, the network said:
CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions. We’re also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on ‘The Talk.’ This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary. The show will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as we continue to review these issues.