Sharon Osbourne has exited “The Talk” after an internal review over on-air comments about racism and allegations of racially insensitive behavior behind-the-scenes.
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” CBS said Friday in a statement. “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,” the statement continued.
The network said it would coordinate “workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness” for the hosts and crew during the show’s ongoing hiatus. “The Talk” will resume live episodes on Monday, April 12.
Representatives for Osbourne did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The controversy surrounding Osbourne kicked off after the March 10 episode, in which the host came to the defense of longtime friend Piers Morgan after he was criticized for making disparaging comments about Meghan Markle. Some critics, including Osbourne’s co-host Sheryl Underwood, said Morgan’s words where racially motivated (Markle, whose mom is Black, is biracial), leading to an on-air meltdown in which Osbourne said she felt like she was “about to be put in the electric chair” for having a racist friend.
Osbourne has apologized for the episode, writing in a lengthy statement on Twitter that she “panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over.”
However, she has taken a more combative stance in subsequent interviews, most recently blaming the show’s producers for intentionally blindsiding her with the segment about Morgan, calling it “the biggest set up ever” in an interview with ET.
Several of Osbourne’s former co-hosts have since spoken out about her on-set behavior, including the alleged use of racial and homophobic slurs and working behind the scenes to sow discord among the hosts. Holly Robinson Peete, who was dropped from the show after the first season, wrote on Twitter that Osbourne once said she was too “ghetto” to be on the show.
Leah Remini and a number of other anonymous “The Talk” staffers accused Osbourne of referring to Julie Chen as “wonton” and “slanty eyes” in a report from journalist Yashar Ali. The report also alleged that Osbourne at times referred to Sara Gilbert, who is a lesbian, by names such as “pussy licker” and “fish eater.” (Osbourne has denied the accusations.)
In a statement announcing the decision to call off live episodes of “The Talk” while the review took place, CBS said it was committed to a “diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all our productions.”
Until her departure, Osbourne was the last remaining original host of the CBS daytime talk show, having been a member of the roundtable since its launch in 2010. Current co-hosts include Carrie Ann Inaba, Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth.