Sharon Osbourne exits The Talk following race and misconduct controversy

Joe Anderton
·2-min read
Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

From Digital Spy

Sharon Osbourne has exited US talk show The Talk following a major controversy and investigation, Deadline has reported.

The show has been off-air following the March 10 episode, which saw Osbourne defend Piers Morgan saying on Good Morning Britain that he didn't believe Meghan Markle saying she struggled with suicidal thoughts. Morgan left that show after walking out while co-host Alex Beresford called out his constant criticism of Markle.

The heated conversation with Sheryl Underwood went into wider discussions of racism and caused producers to put the show on hiatus and launch an investigation. Osbourne apologised on Twitter, denying accusations of racism and saying she was "blindsided" by the conversation.

Photo credit: Ilya S. Savenok - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ilya S. Savenok - Getty Images

Since that investigation began, a report was published that alleges that Osbourne made racist and homophobic remarks to Asian-American former co-host Julie Chen and openly gay former co-host Sara Gillbert, respectively. Another former co-host, Holly Robinson Peete, openly accused Osbourne on Twitter of calling her "too ghetto" for the show.

On March 16, the day that CBS extended the show's hiatus until March 22 (it has since been further extended to mid-to-late April), Osbourne's rep issued a statement that read: "Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history, and the bitterness coming out at this moment."

Now, a statement from the network following's Osbourne's exit reads: "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 behaviour 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.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

"At the same time, 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. 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."

At the time of writing, Osbourne has not publicly responded to her exit.

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