the talk

Sharon Osbourne Exits CBS’s The Talk Following Internal Investigation, Allegations of Racism

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

After CBS temporarily put The Talk on hiatus following Sharon Osbourne’s heated defense of Piers Morgan over accusations of racism earlier this month, the network announced Friday that Osbourne has opted not to return to the daytime talk show. “Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk,” CBS said in a statement, published 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.”

“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 network’s statement continues. “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.”

On March 10, Sharon Osbourne grew heated defending personal friend and British TV personality Piers Morgan against allegations of racism stemming from his on-air criticism of Meghan Markle, particularly his insistence that she lied about her treatment from the British royal family. Markle’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey was the topic of conversation on The Talk that day. “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 declared to co-host Sheryl Underwood, demanding Underwood “educate” her about how Morgan could be racist. Following the segment, Osbourne both publicly apologized for her meltdown and later declared she had been “set up” by producers to be a “sacrificial lamb.”

Following the segment, which prompted CBS to put the show on hiatus for two days, then later two weeks, former Talk co-host Holly Robinson Peete claimed Osbourne called her “too ghetto” to host the daytime talk show, and even had a hand in her eventual dismissal from the program. Another former Talk co-host, Leah Remini, as well as other sources, subsequently alleged Osbourne had used racist and homophobic slurs to talk about former co-hosts Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert, respectively. Osbourne denied the accusations against her, calling them “lies” in a press release issued by her publicist. The Talk is currently scheduled to return on Monday, April 12, after a pre-scheduled hiatus the preceding week.

Sharon Osbourne Won’t Be Coming Back to CBS’s The Talk