Sharon Osbourne Out at The Talk


Sharon Osbourne is permanently stepping away from CBS’ The Talk as a result of the network’s recent investigation into her contentious on-air racism debate with fellow co-host Sheryl Underwood.

Osbourne “has decided to leave The Talk,” CBS said in a statement on Friday. After an internal review conducted during the show’s unplanned hiatus, the network has decided that Osbourne’s behavior “toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”

On that now-infamous March 10 show, the daytime series’ hosting panel discussed whether British TV personality Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle were racist. Osbourne was very vocal, both in her defense of Morgan and in her apparent worry that she would be considered racist for offering her support. At several points in the heated conversation, Osbourne spoke over Underwood, which led to social media posts criticizing Osbourne’s behavior.

“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” CBS added in Friday’s statement. “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.”

Osbourne posted a public apology 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. 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.”

Days later, The Talk went on an unplanned hiatus, cancelling its March 15 and 16 shows in order to conduct an internal review of the incident.

Then on March 16, journalist Yashar Ali published a post in which several sources — including former Talk co-host Leah Remini — stated that Osbourne frequently used Asian slurs to refer to her former co-host Julie Chen and lesbian slurs to refer to former co-host Sara Gilbert. Soon after, the daytime chatfest extended its break to Tuesday, March 23, and later lengthened the hiatus to late March.

In the meantime, former Talk co-host Holly Robinson Peete also alleged that Osborne had called her too “ghetto” to be on the show and responsible for her eventual ousting, claims Osbourne has denied. “Never in my life did I utter the words that Holly was ‘too ghetto’ to be on The Talk, as well as not having her fired,” Osbourne tweeted, though the post has since been removed.

Osbourne was the last of The Talk‘s original co-hosts, a group that included Peete, Remini, Gilbert and Chen.

The Talk will return with new episodes on Monday, April 12, following a pre-scheduled hiatus. “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,” the network says. “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.”

Are you satisfied with The Talk‘s resolution of the situation? Sound off in the comments!

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