SHARON OSBOURNE will not return to her U.S. daytime show THE TALK when it resumes production next month (Apr21), following an on-air controversy and allegations of racism.
The outspoken Brit has decided to quit The Talk panel after coming under fire for her defence of newsman pal Piers Morgan’s verbal attack on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the 10 March (21) episode of the series.
During the segment, co-host Sheryl Underwood attempted to suggest Morgan’s comments about the royal’s tabloid torment, made on Good Morning Britain, were racist, but Sharon Osbourne became upset, claiming the outburst inferred that the rock matriarch was a racist for stating Morgan was paid to have an opinion.
“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,” Sharon Osbourne grumbled, although she subsequently apologised for the exchange the next day on Twitter.
Ozzy Osbourne’s wife came under further attack as former The Talk co-hosts Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini accused her of using racially-insensitive and homophobic language behind the scenes of the show – allegations she blasted as a “setup”.
Network bosses at CBS put The Talk on hiatus days later, as they launched an investigation into the whole drama, and now they have announced Sharon Osbourne has chosen to exit the programme after 11 seasons.
In a statement, they declared: “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 behaviour 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.
“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.”
The Talk is set to return to the air on 12 April. (MT/DL/MT)