Sharon Osbourne has denied making racist and homophobic comments about her co-hosts on CBS’s show The Talk.
The clarification came after journalist Yashar Ali published a damning article alleging that Osbourne would use racist and homophobic slurs on set. Ali’s article cited several sources including former The Talk co-host Leah Remini.
The article claimed Osbourne would “frequently refer to then-co-host Julie Chen, who is Chinese American, as ‘wonton’ and ‘slanty eyes'”. It also stated that Osbourne would refer to her former co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who is a lesbian, as “p***y licker” and “fish eater”.
Ali said the article is based on conversations with 11 sources who spoke to him in 2018 and “recent days about remarks Osbourne has made over the years”. He said most declined to speak on the record because “they fear career retribution, signed a nondisclosure or non-disparagement agreement or aren’t authorised to speak to the press by their current employers”.
Ali added Remini agreed to talk to him about Osbourne’s comments after “seeing how Osbourne has tried to silence… her former and current Black colleagues over the past week”.
In response to Ali’s article, Howard Bragman, Osbourne’s publicist, said in a statement that the “only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host”. He added that Osbourne has been “kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name”.
He continued: “Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment.
“She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down.
“She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
Ali’s article comes after waves of backlash against Sharon Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne took to social media to defend her friend and controversial host Piers Morgan after his Meghan Markle comments. Osbourne defended Morgan on Twitter, writing: “Piers Morgan I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.”
She then appeared on The Talk and declared that she is not racist and “neither is Piers racist”.
Sharon Osbourne claimed that she was “blindsided” on the show and allowed her “fear and horror of being accused of being racist to take over”.
However, former The Talk host Holly Robinson Peete wrote on Twitter that Osbourne “complained that I was too ‘ghetto'” for the show, and then she was “gone”. Peete said she wanted to highlight the comments because she was “mortified watching the condescending tone she took [with] her co-host who remained calm [and] respectful” during the Morgan segment.
Ali tweeted that Osbourne had “her attorneys send a cease and desist letter” to Peete “saying if she did not delete the tweet… she would be sued”.
Ali said CBS also sent him an updated statement for his article after declining to comment the first time. The broadcast network said it would extend the hiatus of The Talk until next Tuesday (23 March) as “we continue to review these issues”.
The statement read: “CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions.
“We’re also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on The Talk.
“This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary.”