Television personality and talk show host Sharon Osbourne is parting ways with “The Talk” after her on-air defense of Piers Morgan two weeks ago.
CBS confirmed Osbourne’s departure Friday afternoon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Osbourne, 68, defended Morgan’s comments during a March 10 episode of “The Talk,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Morgan was questioning the validity of Meghan Markle’s discussion on mental health with Oprah Winfrey during an episode of “60 Minutes.”
During that March 6 interview, the Duchess of Sussex alleged racist behavior within the British royal family. That prompted Morgan to call Markle a liar on “Good Morning Britain,” and he left the set when questioned by a colleague on the ITV program.
Osbourne’s comments during “The Talk” led to an intense exchange with Sheryl Underwood, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Osbourne told Underwood to “educate” her about racism and told her not to cry.
“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave ‘The Talk,’” CBS said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Osbourne apologized on Twitter, but the show suspended production on March 15 after launching an internal investigation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Osbourne tweeted that she felt “panicked” and “blindsided” that people might think she was racist, so she “got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over.”
“There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast! I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us and will continue to learn, listen and do better.”
Later, Osbourne gave interviews to Variety and Entertainment Tonight, claiming that she had been “set up” by the producers and was a “sacrificial lamb.”
Osbourne has also been accused of using racist language in her exchanges with former co-hosts Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini, Sara Gilbert and Julie Chen, People reported. Osbourne has denied the claims.
“The Talk” will return to the air with original episodes on April 12, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It is unclear who will replace Osbourne on the panel, which includes Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth.