‘The Talk’ Hiatus Extended During Review of Racist Language Reportedly Used by Sharon Osbourne

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Though The Talk had originally announced it was going on a short hiatus (March 15 and 16), the break has been extended.

The CBS talk show will now return with new episodes on Tuesday, March 23, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Episodes on Friday, March 19, and Monday, March 22, had already been cancelled due to the NCAA tournament.)

The original break came after The Talk host Sharon Osbourne defended Piers Morgan‘s attacks on Meghan Markle after Oprah With Meghan and Prince Harry aired on both CBS and ITV in the U.K. This included Piers saying, “I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report” on Good Morning Britain, from which he has since resigned. Many feel Morgan’s consistently negative comments about Markle are steeped in racism. Osbourne posted a tweet in support of Morgan, a longtime friend, and defended him on the show.

This extended hiatus comes as journalist Yashar Ali posted an article in which sources, including The Talk former co-host Leah Remini, claim Osbourne has a history of using racist language, including reportedly calling former co-host Julie Chen “Slanty Eyes.”

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In a statement from CBS, THR reports, the network said it’s “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.”

When they spoke about Morgan’s comments on The Talk on March 10, the discussion got heated, particularly between Sheryl Underwood and Osbourne. As Underwood said, with Osbourne’s message of support on Twitter for Morgan, “it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist.”

“I feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is racist, so that makes me a racist,” Osbourne replied.

Two days later, Osbourne posted an apology to Twitter.

“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. I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over,” she wrote.

She also responded to this Tweet, posted by former co-host Holly Robinson Peete:

Osbourne then shared an email allegedly from Peete the following day and posted two responses on Twitter:

Osbourne’s response to the latest allegations comes through a statement from her publicist, Howard Bragman, via THR, which reads in part: “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 Talk, Weekdays, CBS