Sharon Osbourne will no longer host CBS’ daytime talk show The Talk after a review by the network found that “her behavior toward her co-hosts” in a recent episode “did not align with our values for a respectful workplace,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The network said her exit was her decision, however.
“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk,” CBS said in a statement. “The co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.”
Osbourne’s departure comes after she erupted into a rant defending Piers Morgan against accusations of racism following his remarks on Meghan Markle during a March 10 conversation with co-host Sheryl Underwood, who is Black. Tension rose to a palpable level when Osbourne demanded Underwood “educate” her about how Morgan’s diatribes against Markle could be construed as racist. The show’s remaining panelists are Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots, and Elaine Welteroth.
Osbourne later apologized for her comments and their delivery, but in the following days, news broke that she had allegedly called co-host Julie Chen “slanty-eyes” in the past and referred to lesbian co-host Sara Gilbert as “pussy licker” and “fish eater.” Former host Holly Robinson Peete accused Osbourne of ousting her from the show, alleging the Brit called her “too ghetto.”
CBS told The Hollywood Reporter 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.”
Though Osbourne expressed regret over her remarks, she also accused the network of “blindsiding” her with its review of her conduct and the show’s workplace environment, adding that she had been “set up” as a “sacrificial lamb.” CBS responded to the accusation Friday, saying, “We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.” The network said it would use The Talk’s current hiatus, which began March 15, to put together workshops on “equity, inclusion and cultural awareness” for hosts and production staff.
In the rant that sparked Osbourne’s downward spiral on the show, Morgan called Markle a liar for leveling accusations of racism against the British royal family. He walked off the set of Good Morning Britain.
Osbourne said on air that she did not think Morgan’s comments were racist.
She told Sheryl Underwood, “Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things. 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?”