Sharon Osbourne has officially exited The Talk, after nearly two weeks of highly controversial comments and allegations. She first sparked controversy earlier in the month when she defended Piers Morgan over his comments on Good Morning Britain about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah.
He made some mean-spirited and disparaging statements, which she argued was his "opinion" and simply what he was "paid" to do. She also engaged in a heated on-air defense of her position against her co-hosts.
Sharon Osbourne Is Out at ‘The Talk’ https://t.co/g52SBbGB9x— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 26, 2021
Following the controversy her defense of Morgan caused, Osbourne apologized and stated that she was "truly sorry" to " anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said." Things did not end here, however, as The Talk was put on hiatus while an internal investigation into Osbourne's comments and behavior was ordered. Additionally, in the wake of her apology statement, former The Talk co-host Holly Robinson Peete — who appeared in Season 1 of the show — took to Twitter to claim that Osbourne had once referred to her as "too 'ghetto' for The Talk."
Osbourne's exit was addressed in a statement by the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "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," the statement reads. "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 notes that the hiatus for the series allowed those involved to plot out a more inclusive and educational presence on the set and production of the daytime talk series. "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 statement reads.
Osbourne refuted the claims but soon more allegations emerged. On Tuesday, journalist Yashar Ali reported that he spoke with Leah Remini — who was also a The Talk Season 1 co-host — as well as a number of other sources who claimed Osbourne was known for making bigoted comments about her castmates. Ali stated that Remini told him Osbourne referred to former co-host Julie Chen by racist nicknames, including "slanty eyes" and "wonton." She also reportedly called former co-host Sara Gilbert — who is a lesbian — a "p—y licker" and a "fish eater."
Again, Osbourne denied the claims, with her lawyer stating, "For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name." The attorney added, "Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down."
Osbourne was the last of the original co-hosts of The Talk, as Chen left in 2018 and Gilbert left in 2019. Peete, Remini, and Marissa Jaret Winokur only appeared in Season 1. Co-host seniority now moves to Sheryl Underwood, who has been with the show since Season 2. The rest of the panel is rounded out with Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots, and Elaine Welteroth.