Video: The Talk Returns Minus Co-Host Sharon Osbourne — Watch Sheryl Underwood's Message to Viewers

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After a turbulent month-long hiatus, The Talk returned on Monday and wasted no time diving into the race-related controversy that led to the exit of co-host Sharon Osbourne.

Addressing viewers directly at the top of the show, co-host Sheryl Underwood said, “It’s time for an episode of The Talk that will be unlike any other we’ve had before. As you may know, during our break, Sharon decided to leave The Talk. We need to process the events of that day and what happened since, so we can get to the healing. Over the next hour, we will honestly discuss what occurred and explore some of our feelings. And we’ll also show you how anyone can become more comfortable discussing important issues and having difficult conversations. By the end of the hour, we want everyone to feel empowered and ready to move forward.”

Watch Underwood’s message below…

The Talk has been off the air since the March 10 episode, a now infamous hour that found  the hosting panel discussing 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.

Osbourne posted a public apology the next day, 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.”

Following an internal review of the incident, CBS announced on March 26 that Osbourne “has decided to leave The Talk,” adding that Osbourne’s behavior “toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”

In Monday’s episode, special guest Dr. Donald E. Grant presided over a discussion of the March 10 kerfuffle with Underwood and fellow co-hosts Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth.

Describing her mindset during the heated exchange with Osbourne, Underwood explained, “I didn’t want to escalate things with Sharon because I thought I was having a conversation with a friend. But also I knew I had to be an example for others to follow because I didn’t want to be perceived as the angry Black woman. That really scared me; I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to remain calm.”

Underwood also acknowledged that revisiting the events of March 10 has been “difficult… because I feel the trauma.”

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