Sharon Osbourne is out of ‘The Talk’
(CNN) — “The Talk” and Sharon Osbourne have parted ways, CBS announced Friday.
The news comes two weeks after controversy over an on-air confrontation between Osbourne and one of her co-hosts, as well as allegations that she had made racist and homophobic remarks about her colleagues in the past.
“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 released to CNN. “We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.”
CNN has reached out to a representative for Osbourne for comment.
In the episode at the center of the controversy, Osbourne had an intense debate with fellow co-host Sheryl Underwood after the latter questioned Osbourne’s support of her longtime friend, Piers Morgan.
Morgan left his job on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” after allegations that negative comments he made following Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey were rooted in racism.
Osbourne demanded Underwood present instances of when Morgan had been racist and was visibly upset during the exchange.
Osbourne later tweeted an apology, saying she “panicked,” “felt blindsided” and then “got defensive” during her conversation with Underwood.
Following the episode, CBS announced an internal review would take place and the show went on a temporary production hiatus.
Shortly thereafter, in a story written by journalist Yashar Ali, former “Talk” co-host Leah Remini, who spoke on the record in the piece, and a number of unnamed sources, accused Osbourne of using racist and homophobic language in the past when speaking about her colleagues.
CNN did not independently verify the claims, but a spokesperson for Remini confirmed the accuracy of her statements, as reported by Ali to CNN and declined further comment.
Osbourne’s spokesperson Howard Bragman disputed the allegations
“The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host,” he said in a statement to CNN. “For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwingthem parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment.”
Before the allegations went public, Osbourne spoke to “Entertainment Tonight” and insisted she is not racist. She also said she had attempted to apologize to Underwood, whom she considered a friend, to no avail.
“I am not a racist and if you can’t have a go at your friend who happens to be Black, does that make me racist because I said certain things to my friend, but I said them on camera?” Osbourne said. “I will keep on apologizing to Sheryl, even if I decide not to go back, I will still keep apologizing to Sheryl.”
Osbourne was the only remaining original cast member of “The Talk,” which debuted in 2010.
In its statement Friday, CBS also said: “During this week’s hiatus, we are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew. 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.”
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