Sharon Osbourne exits ‘The Talk’ following Piers Morgan controversy

By , Audacy

Sharon Osbourne will no longer co-host “The Talk.”

CBS has announced the 68-year-old is not returning to the daytime talk show she has hosted since its launch in 2010, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk," the network 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."

The statement continued: "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."

CBS is moving forward with extra training and workshops to address equity and cultural awareness.

"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," the statement read. "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 news comes in the aftermath of a heated discussion between Osbourne and co-host Sheryl Underwood which ignited an “internal review” by the network.

The show has been on hiatus while CBS launched its investigation into Osbourne and Underwood’s tense discussion over Piers Morgan’s controversial remarks about Meghan Markle.

"We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of 'The Talk' are currently under internal review," CBS previously said in a statement.

During the episode in question, Osbourne claimed she was being labeled a racist for voicing support for Morgan, who criticized Markle for her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. Morgan accused Markle of lying about the royal family's racism and her own mental health struggles.

"Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No," Osbourne said on “The Talk.” "It's not my opinion ... I support him for his freedom of speech, and he's my friend.”

Underwood then pressed Osbourne over her defense of Morgan.

“What would you say to people who may feel that while you’re standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?” Underwood said.

Osbourne then demanded Underwood provide examples of Morgan being racist.
"I will ask you again Sheryl, I've been asking you during the break and I'm asking you again, and don't try and cry 'cause if anyone should be crying it should be me," Osbourne said. "Educate me! Tell me when you have heard him say racist things."

Following the tense conversation, Osbourne later issued an apology for her comments.

“After some reflection, after sitting with your comments & sitting with my heart, I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday,” the 68-year-old wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the black community & I have deep respect & love for the black community.”

“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. I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over,” she continued. “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 & will continue to learn, listen and do better.”

Despite issuing her apology, Osbourne said she felt “blindsided” by the network for making Morgan’s comments a last-minute topic on the show.

"I blame the network for it," Osbourne told Variety. "I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years, this was the first time I was not involved with the planning of the segment."

Premiering in 2010, “The Talk” launched with Osbourne, Sarah Gilbert, Julie Chen, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marisa Jarret Winokur as co-hosts.

The show is currently in its 11th season and will return on April 12th with Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth.

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