Sharon Osbourne’s exit as a co-host on The Talk came about after an intense exchange between herself and Sheryl Underwood last month. They were discussing Piers Morgan’s own sudden exit from Good Morning Britain over Meghan Markle and her Oprah interview, when it suddenly went things became heated. Osbourne defended her fellow Brit, prompting a backlash and deeper allegations that labelled her as “racist” and “tone deaf,” among other things. Now, Osbourne is opening up about her side of the story.
Shows like The Talk and The View are widely known for digging deeper into conversations happening about pop culture, from different points of view. Co-hosts have exited before but never in quite this same fashion as Sharon Osbourne. When asked how she feels now about what happened, Osbourne said on Real Time with Bill Maher:
It’s so many different things… I’m angry, I’m hurt… I’ve been called so many things in my life, I am so used to being called names, but a racist is one I will not take. I’m going to be just fine, I’m fine, as I said I’m a fighter, I’m fine.
For context, in their initial discussion on The Talk, Sheryl Underwood asked Sharon Osbourne about the appearance that she “gave validation or safe haven” for Piers Morgan’s “racist” behavior. Osbourne pushed back against Underwood and questioned how Morgan or herself were being racist in the situation. Underwood was near tears and Osbourne was visibly upset. Only two weeks later, CBS announced Osbourne’s exit, saying she “did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”
The Piers Morgan discussion on The Talk was clearly not intended to get so intense but coming off the heels of one of the biggest interviews of this decade seemed to help set the tone. In Sharon Osbourne’s opinion, the backlash she got was more so the result of “woke” culture. She said:
It’s not fair, because it isn’t about being a racist. It’s about maybe not knowing what is correct and woke for your language that day, ’cause it changes from day to day.
The drama had indeed escalated to something a bit deeper than a difference of opinion when accusations surfaced about Sharon Osbourne's own behavior. She was accused of using racist language like “slanty eyes” about former Talk co-host Julie Chen and homophobic terms about Sara Gilbert. The Talk alum Holly Robinson Peete also claimed that Osbourne considered her “too ghetto” for the show.
But following a lengthy hiatus, The Talk returned. Sheryl Underwood said she felt “trapped” by the conversation and wanted to avoid being cast as the “angry black woman.” But also, she cleared up that text message snafu and claimed to be open to one day receiving Osbourne again as a friend.
From network television to everyday life, these conversations about race are springing up consistently. As of right now, CBS has not announced any immediate plans to replace Sharon Osbourne on The Talk.