As it returned to air Monday, CBS’s The Talk spent a full hour reckoning with the on-air tirade Sharon Osbourne launched last month.
Host Sheryl Underwood—who endured the brunt of Osbourne’s rage during her March meltdown defending Piers Morgan’s vile implosion over Meghan Markle—opened The Talk by telling the audience, “We need to process the events of that day and what happened since so we can get to the healing... And we will also show you how anyone can become more comfortable with discussing important issues and having difficult conversations.” The show invited Donald Grant, executive director at Mindful Training Solutions, and trauma therapist Anita Phillips to join Monday’s episode.
Underwood said she has not spoken with Osbourne since their exchange in March, when she told Osbourne she was providing “validation” to racist views and remarks. She said she has not received a call from Osbourne, but did ignore text messages amid the network’s internal investigation for fear that she was not supposed to communicate with her former co-host.
Osbourne has issued a statement in which she said she “panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist.” She announced her departure later in March.
“Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying,” she wrote.
In the moment when Osbourne grew heated, Underwood said, “I didn’t want to escalate things... 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. I didn’t want to be that, and I wanted to remain calm and remain focused.”
Underwood said that if Osbourne greeted her “warmly and sincerely,” she would return the gesture “because we’ve been together on this show for 10 years. So I want people to understand when you’re friends with somebody, you stay friends.”
“I wanted to be an example for every woman that might be on a job somewhere and be faced with something like that,” Underwood said, “but definitely Black women who have to manage not just their own expectations and responses but we have to manage ourselves and we’re a family. Regardless of your background, every day there’s some woman going through something like this.”
“I think when you go back and watch what happened in that episode, you will see two Black women walking the same tightrope that Black women are walking every single day in the workplace,” Welteroth added. “As Sheryl said, we knew that we had to stay composed in that situation. Even in the face of someone who was, A, not listening, and B, went off the rails into disrespect.”
Welteroth also took a moment to address “the false accusations that are swirling in the press” that she and Underwood “attacked a woman on air and were part of some conspiracy.”
The idea that Osbourne was somehow set up, Welteroth said, “is absolutely categorically false. And I think it’s really important that people hear that. Because if you actually watch what happened on that episode, what you will see is two women who were maintaining their composure, their dignity, and a sense of respect every step of the way. And we were not heard.”
A representative for Osbourne did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.