Sharon Osbourne has exited “The Talk.” The co-host has departed the CBS talk show after coming under fire for defending Piers Morgan’s controversial comments about Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s revelatory interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, followed by resurfaced accusations of racism made by former co-host Holly Robinson Peete. Osbourne had been on “The Talk” for all of its 11 seasons.
“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave ‘The Talk,'” CBS said 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,” the statement went on. “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.”
Morgan, the now-former host of ITV’s flagship show “Good Morning Britain,” said on Monday morning that he didn’t believe Markle’s claims of bullying within the Royal Family and that he did not believe that she experienced suicidality as a result of the high-stress situation. Osbourne went on to show support for her longtime friend:
. @piersmorgan 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.
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 9, 2021
In an episode of “The Talk,” Osbourne continued to defend Morgan’s comments and got into a heated exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood.
“Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things?” Osbourne told Underwood. “I very much feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend, who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist?”
Osbourne later backtracked her statement after receiving backlash for supporting Morgan, tweeting an apology that declared she does not condone “racism, misogyny or bullying.” Still, she later told Variety that she felt that CBS “totally blindsided” her with the discussion.
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 12, 2021
Mere hours after her apology, however, she was the subject of scandal again when Robinson Peete, one of the original hosts of “The Talk,” resurfaced claims that Osbourne complained Peete was “too ghetto” for the show, subsequently resulting in Peete’s dismissal. Peete and fellow co-host Leah Remini were released from the CBS daytime show after its first season in 2011. Though Remini made the same claim against Osbourne in a Twitter Q&A in 2012, declaring that “Sharon thought me and Holly were ‘Ghetto’, (her words) we were not funny, awkward and didn’t know ourselves and that Sharon said she asked [for] us to be fired,” Peete’s tweet made the allegations go viral on the social platform.
I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too “ghetto” for #theTalk…then I was gone💨
I bring this up now bc I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took w/her co host who remained calm & respectful because…she HAD to🤦🏽♀️ 🤷🏽♀️#fbf https://t.co/7pnCnhM5rf pic.twitter.com/CXR4DzvlEZ
— Holly Robinson Peete😷🥰 (@hollyrpeete) March 12, 2021
“The Talk” had been on hiatus as CBS conducted a probe into the events surrounding the March 10 episode.