Talk about an abrupt exit!
Just over two weeks after she got into an emotional on-air exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood about racism on The Talk, CBS has confirmed 68-year-old Sharon Osbourne’s days on the daytime show are officially over.
While it was speculated CBS would fire Osbourne, the network released a statement claiming she “has decided to leave.”
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” the statement reads. “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 issue started when Osbourne publicly defended her friend Piers Morgan after he slammed Meghan Markle’s claims she suffered mental health issues upon joining the royal family.
Osbourne then got into a tense exchange with Underwood about the situation.
“Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things,” Osbourne asked Underwood on The Talk. “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?”
Five days later, on March 15, The Talk was placed on hiatus while CBS conducted what they called an “internal review.”
In the statement, CBS said that “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.”
“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,” the statement concluded. “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.”
Compounding the scandal, former The Talk co-hosts Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini also came forward with more allegations against Osbourne.
Peete claimed Osbourne claimed she was “too ghetto” and got her fired, while Remini alleged Osbourne referred to another former co-host, Julie Chen, as “slanty eyes” and “wonton.”
Osbourne has denied all claims of racism against her and has said she felt “set up” and made into a “sacrificial lamb.”
The Talk is set to return to air on April 12.