Sharon Osbourne gave her first interview since leaving CBS' talk show The Talk following her controversial defense of Piers Morgan that led to a heated discussion on the show. The former America's Got Talent judge, 68, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night, where she said she was "angry" and "hurt" over how she left the show. In another part of the interview, Osbourne called Prince Harry the "poster boy" of white privilege. "I'm angry, I'm hurt," Osbourne told Maher, notes PEOPLE. "I've been called so many things in my life… but a racist is one thing I will not take."
CBS announced Osbourne would not be returning to The Talk on March 26, over two weeks after the March 10 episode, in which she was asked about her support of Morgan, even after many called him racist for his constant criticism of Meghan Markle. Morgan even questioned Markle's discussion of her mental health during her March 8 interview with Oprah Winfrey. "She's entitled to her opinion, Piers is entitled to his," Osbourne told Maher about Morgan's comments. "And that's what it's all about." She added that "disagreeing with someone does not make you a racist in my book."
During the March 10 episode, co-host Sheryl Underwood asked Osbourne how she would feel about people saying it looked like she was validating Morgan's comments by defending him. Osbourne responded by saying it was not fair for her to be accused of racism because she stood by her friend. "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?" she told Underwood. "What does it gotta do with me?"
Although Osbourne did apologize for her response on social media, CBS launched an internal investigation. The network confirmed Osbourne ould leave, noting that her behavior "did not align with our values." The network added that it "did not find any evidence" of executives orchestrating the situation of blindsiding the hosts but they acknowledged that producers "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."
As the controversy with The Talk unfolded, other allegations against Osbourne surfaced in a March 16 report from journalist Yashar Ali, who reported that Osbourne used racist slurs when referring to Julie Chen. Ali cited unnamed sources and former The Talk co-host Leah Remini. Osbourne told Maher she "never ever" used a slur, and the words are "not in my vocabulary." Osbourne's publicist previously denied the allegations.
🎻— Holly Robinson Peete😷🥰 (@hollyrpeete) April 17, 2021
Then maybe don’t say or do racist things.
What about what YOU’ve called people? 🙄🤦🏽♀️
accountability > “cancel culture” https://t.co/BmJIGprDSC
Elsewhere in her interview with Maher, the host asked Osbourne about the contents of Winfrey's interview with Harry and Markle. Maher said the royal family might have had racist tendencies, but Osbourne defended the Queen as being "from a different generation" and "notoriously non-huggy." She then called Harry the "poster boy" of white privilege and "can't feel empathy" when for Harry when he talked about being cut off from his family. "Because you’re a healthy, bright, educated young man. You can do whatever you want to do," she said, notes Page Six. "Your life is your own."