Sharon Osbourne is leaving CBS’ daytime talk show “The Talk” following remarks she made defending embattled British TV personality Piers Morgan in the wake of Meghan Markle’s sensational interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, the network said Friday
The show was been on hiatus while CBS reviewed the matter.
“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,” CBS said in a statement.
Osbourne did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Earlier this month, Osbourne expressed her support on-air for Piers Morgan after critical commentary he made about Meghan’s interview with Winfrey.
The sit-down interview addressed mental health, race, media coverage and the couple’s public family fallout. Meghan, who’s Black, said that before her son’s birth, some in the royal family had expressed “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Morgan, a longtime critic of Meghan and Prince Harry, rejected the American actress’ revelations that she experienced suicidal thoughts and stormed off the set of ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” and left the show.
Osbourne said she supported Morgan.
“I am with you,” Osbourne tweeted. “I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.”
Osbourne was criticized for the tweet, and a heated discussion with “The Talk” co-host Sheryl Underwood ensued on air.
“I feel even 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,” Osbourne said on “The Talk.”
Underwood, who is Black, gently pushed back and even prefaced a question with a compliment: “I’ve never seen anything come out of you other than, ‘If I don’t know, I’m willing to learn. If I come off a certain way, I stand corrected.'”
Underwood suggested that Morgan’s rejection of Meghan’s claims of mental stress under royal life was racist, and told Osbourne, “It appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist.”
Osbourne responded, “You tell me where you have heard him say … educate me, tell me when you have heard me say racist things! Educate me, tell me!”
Osbourne’s spokesperson, Howard Bragman, released a statement after the argument.
“Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment,” he said. “She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down.”
Osbourne then tweeted an explanation.
“Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying,” she said. “I should have been more specific about that in my tweet. I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction.”
Osbourne’s former “Talk” co-host Holly Robinson Peete, who’s Black, subsequently shared her own alleged experience with Osbourne on Twitter.
“I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too “ghetto” from “The Talk”…then I was gone,” she said.
Osbourne, on Twitter, denied the allegation.
CBS said in its statement, “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 network said the show would return April 12.
Diana Dasrath contributed.