After a controversial on-air exchange about race, Sharon Osbourne is leaving The Talk.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that CBS confirmed her departure late Friday afternoon.
“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk,” CBS said in a press 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’s controversial comments on the March 10 episode came during a conversation about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey where Markle alleged racist behavior within the British Royal Family.
Piers Morgan — a friend of Osbourne’s — called Markle a liar on Good Morning Britain, and after being challenged on his opinion, stormed off the set and ultimately quit the program. Many regarded his comments as racist.
When Osbourne came to his defense on The Talk, things started to get messy. At one point, she demanded that co-host Sheryl Underwood, a Black woman, explain to her why Morgan was being called a racist. “Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things,” Osbourne said.
Osbourne later apologized on Twitter, but the show suspended production on March 15 to start an internal investigation. From there, things got worse, as journalist Yashar Ali published an explosive report where a number of sources from The Talk who spoke anonymously, as well as former co-host Leah Remini, who spoke on the record, accused Osbourne of being racist and homophobic.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Underwood will remain on The Talk, along with remaining panelists Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth. There’s no news as to whether or not Osbourne will be replaced. The show will return with original episodes on Monday, April 12, following the pre-scheduled hiatus the week of April 5.