Sheryl Underwood is opening up about her argument with Sharon Osbourne on The Talk’s first episode since its monthlong hiatus. Underwood began the April 12 episode by promising it would be “unlike any other” and that the co-hosts would “honestly discuss what occurred” — in short, that Osbourne got heated with Underwood over being called racist for defending her friend Piers Morgan as he attacked Meghan Markle, leading the show to go on hiatus. In the time since, more reports of Osbourne’s racism emerged; while she denied the claims, Osbourne decided to leave The Talk, which she has co-hosted since it began in 2010. Speaking about her televised exchange with Osbourne, Underwood said, “I feel like I’ve been in, like, PTSD, because it was a trauma.” The co-host further said she felt pressure in the moment as a Black woman. “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, and that really scared me,” Underwood said. “I didn’t want to be that, and I wanted to remain calm and remain focused, and it’s difficult to go back to that day because I just feel the trauma. I feel fearful, apprehensive.”
Underwood had previously said on her podcast, The World According to Sheryl, that Osbourne never privately apologized to her, although publicly apologizing for the exchange. After Osbourne denied this — by providing screenshots of her texts to the Daily Mail — Underwood said on April 12’s episode that she didn’t know if she could reply to Osbourne’s texts due to CBS’s investigation into the situation. In a March 26 statement announcing Osbourne’s exit, CBS said, “Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.” Further, the network added, “It was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.” April 12’s episode featured guests including the director of a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm and a trauma therapist.