Sharon Osbourne has spoken out against reports that she used racist remarks in reference to her former The Talk co-host Julie Chen. The allegations first arose in March when journalist Yashar Ali reported the talk show host called her former colleague, who is Chinese American, "slanty eyes" and "wonton," among other racist and ethnic slurs. Osbourne previously dubbed the report "lies" and doubled down on that stance while addressing the allegations during her Friday, April 16 appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.
Appearing on the talk show in what marked her first interview since departing The Talk, Osbourne hit back at the reports, calling former The Talk co-hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete, who first came forward with the allegations, "disgruntled ladies." According to Variety, she went on to deny accusations that she used racist and ethnic slurs, stating that she "never, ever said that." Osbourne told Maher, "I don't even use those words; they're not in my vocabulary."
According to Remini, who spoke to Ali, Osbourne allegedly said about Chen and her husband, Les Moonves, "I mean, who the f— does slanty eyes think she is? She shouldn't be pillow-talking with our boss." Remini also alleged Osbourne made homophobic comments about Sara Gilbert, who is a lesbian, asking, "Why won't the p—y licker do anything about the wonton?" and "Why won't the fish-eater be part of this discussion? She's the f–king executive producer." In total, Ali said he spoke with 11 sources in 2018. Osbourne, however, was quick to deny the accusations, saying in a statement via her publicist, "Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment."
Osbourne's discussion with Maher came a month after she exited The Talk following a heated on-air discussion with co-host Sheryl Underwood regarding her support for British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who exited Good Morning Britain after he questioned the validity of Meghan Markle's claims about her mental health during her interview with Oprah Winfrey. Osbourne later tweeted her support for Morgan, leading to a tense discussion about racism on The Talk, with the talk show later announcing Osbourne "has decided to leave The Talk."
Speaking publicly for the first time since her departure, Osbourne hit back against what she described as "cancel culture" and "woke language," telling Maher, "I'm used to being called names. A racist is one I will not take." She went on to state that she is "doing just fine" before adding, "It's not fair. It isn't about being a racist. It's maybe not knowing what is correct and woke for your language that day. It changes from day to day what is correct."