Sharon Osbourne Leaves ‘The Talk’ After Controversy and Review

Sharon Osbourne The Talk Panelist
Monty Brinton/CBS

Sharon Osbourne will not be returning to The Talk after an investigation was opened following her defense of Piers Morgan and allegations she used racial slurs.

“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk,” according to CBS’ statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

After the review, however, they did deem the network and studio teams and showrunners “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.”

Following Oprah with Meghan and Harry, a sit-down in which Oprah Winfrey spoke with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle about a variety of subjects, Morgan’s comments included “I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.” Osbourne came to his defense on social media and voiced her support.

When the panel on The Talk discussed his comments on March 10, it led to a heated debate between Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood. The latter said, “it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist.”

Elaine Welteroth Carrie Ann Inaba Sharon Osbourne Sheryl Underwood Amanda Kloots

Randee St. Nicholas/CBS

“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 then said.

Osbourne, who had been on the panel since The Talk premiered in 2010, posted an apology on social media on March 12. “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,” she wrote. “I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over.”

CBS then announced that The Talk would be going on a brief hiatus on March 15 and 16, and that break was extended as journalist Yashar Ali posted an article with sources, including a former co-host on the show, Leah Remini, claiming Osbourne has used racist language in the past.

“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,” the network said in a statement at the time.

“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,” CBS’ statement about Osbourne’s exit concludes. “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.”

New episodes of The Talk will resume on Monday, April 12, with Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots, and Elaine Welteroth.

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