Sharon Osbourne will no longer be on The Talk, following CBS' internal review of the daytime talk show's controversial March 10 episode. In the network's statement on Friday evening, CBS said Osbourne "has decided to leave" the series. Osbourne, 68, was asked to talk about her defense of Piers Morgan, who stormed off the set of ITV's Good Morning Britain and quit the show because of comments about Meghan Markle that many consider racist, in a segment on March 10 that led to a heated discussion with her co-hosts.
"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," CBS said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts."
The network said its investigation did find that members of the studio team did not "properly prepare" the co-hosts for a "complex and sensitive discussion involving race." During another week-long taping hiatus, CBS scheduled "workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers, and crew," adding, "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 new episodes will begin filming on April 12 because of a pre-planned hiatus for the week of April 5.
Osbourne predicted that she would not be on the show long because of the situation. In a March 16 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Osbourne claimed she was not prepared to be questioned about her tweet defending Morgan. She believed she was being set up as a "sacrificial lamb" after she saw her other co-hosts had written questions. "I wish we could go on and have an adult conversation calmly and work it out but I don't know whether we can," Osbourne told ET when asked if she would be returning to the show. "I don't know whether it's gone past that. I would love to but I don't know whether I even want to go back... I don't know whether I'm wanted there."
She went on to say that co-host Elaine Welteroth wanted to have an on-air conversation with Osbourne to make this a teachable moment. "The ins and the outs of the way the younger generation feel right now, I don't have my finger on the pulse," she said. "Elaine does and Elaine very much wants to make this better and to have a conversation come out of this that will help other people and probably people of my age too that would help them."
At one point during the March 10 episode, Osbourne asked co-host Sheryl Underwood to explain to her why Morgan was being called racist. "Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things," Osbourne said. "I very much feel 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 did apologize on Twitter, but other allegations of racist and homophobic remarks surfaced in the following days. Osbourne denied those allegations.