Sharon Osborne got into an emotional debate with her The Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood after she came to broadcaster Piers Morgan's defense amid backlash to his comments about Meghan Markle. After Osbourne took to Twitter Tuesday just hours after ITV announced Morgan had departed Good Morning Britain, writing that she is "with" and stands by Morgan, Osbourne said during Wednesday's episode of the daytime talk show that she's been accused of being racist for supporting Morgan, leading to a heated exchange with Underwood.
Speaking out about her message of support for the broadcaster, Osbourne said, "Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No," according to PEOPLE. She went on to note that his remarks, in which he said he didn't believe Markle's claims that she experienced suicidal thoughts while in the U.K. and the "institution" refused to offer help, were "his opinion. It's not my opinion." Noting that Morgan is her friend, she said she said she supports "him for his freedom of speech," though she said she is "not racist...I don't care what color or what religion anyone is. Are you a nice person? That's what I judge you on."
When stuff like this happens, true friends run towards you, fake friends run away. I love Sharon Osbourne because she always stays true to herself.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
She knew she would get abused by the woke brigade for tweeting this - but did it anyway because it what she believes. https://t.co/gYnSwXZsUe
Underwood, however, pushed back against that, asking her co-host what she would say to those "who may feel that while you're standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don't agree?" Osbourne, beginning to tear up, said she feels like she is "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?"
"I will ask you again Sheryl, I've been asking you during the break and I'm asking you again, and don't try and cry cause if anyone should be crying it should be me. Educate me!" Osbourne continued. "Tell me when you have heard him say racist things."
Underwood explained that "it is not the exact words of racism," but rather "the implication" of Morgan dismissing Markle was racist. She explained that "to not want to address that because she is a Black woman, and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is that's what makes it racist." She added that right now, she was "talking to a woman I believe is my friend and I don't want anybody here to watch this and think we are attacking you for being racist."
While Osbourne's support for Morgan may be earning her some criticism, it got the stamp of approval from the broadcaster, who also came to her defense. After Osbourne shared her tweet, Morgan quoted it with the added message, "When stuff like this happens, true friends run towards you, fake friends run away." He applauded Osbourne for sharing her opinion when "she knew she would get abused by the woke brigade for tweeting this."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.