Sharon Osbourne Leaves The Talk amid Fallout from Piers Morgan Defense

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Sharon Osbourne speaks during the tenth annual “Classic Rock Roll of Honour” awards in Los Angeles, November 2014. (Kevork Djansezian / Reuters)

CBS announced on Friday that Sharon Osbourne, a co-host of CBS’s The Talk, would leave the program in the wake of her defense of British television host Piers Morgan’s comments on Meghan Markle.

Osbourne backed Morgan on Twitter earlier this month, after Morgan resigned from his position as an anchor for ITV news. Morgan had disputed Markle’s claim that members of the British royal household discouraged her from receiving mental-health treatment, after she told them she had suicidal thoughts.

During a March 10 episode of The Talk, co-host Sheryl Underwood questioned Osbourne’s defense of Morgan.

“What would you say to people who say that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you give validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?” Underwood asked. (Morgan’s comments on Markle were deemed racist by some observers.)

Osbourne responded that she felt “about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist.” Osbourne continued, “how can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?”

CBS announced that Osbourne would leave the program on Friday.

“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk,” CBS said in a statement. “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.”

Osbourne later apologized for the exchange, but episodes of The Talk were put on hold. Multiple sources, including former co-host Leah Remini, subsequently told journalist Yashar Ali that Osbourne had made racist and other derogatory comments to workers on the show. Osbourne dismissed the allegations as “lies” stemming from “disgruntled” former colleagues.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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