Sharon Osbourne leaves US morning show 'The Talk' after investigation into racism discussion

Sharon Osbourne with co-hosts Sheryl Underwood, Sara Gilbert, Aisha Tyler and Julie Chen - David Livingston /Getty
Sharon Osbourne with co-hosts Sheryl Underwood, Sara Gilbert, Aisha Tyler and Julie Chen - David Livingston /Getty

Sharon Osbourne has left US daytime show "The Talk" after the network said her defence of Piers Morgan's comments about the Duchess of Sussex did not "align with a respectful workplace".

Osbourne clashed with her co-hosts on the CBS show earlier this month while defending Morgan, who left his job on ITV's Good Morning Britain following his comments about the duchess.

Her comments led to a heated on-air discussion about racism with her black co-host, Sheryl Underwood.

CBS said Osbourne, 68, had decided to leave the show after a review that found in part that "Sharon's behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace."

The network also said its internal inquiry indicated the show's presenters, including Osbourne and Underwood, were not properly prepared by the production team for a discussion on race.

However CBS said there was nothing to support Osbourne’s claims that the show's producers had set up the confrontation.

"The Talk" has been on hiatus while CBS investigated the incident but is due to return without Osbourne on April 12.

The on-screen row occurred after Osbourne, who is a longtime friend of Morgan, was confronted on her support for Morgan's comments. The TV personality was criticised for saying he did not "believe a word" of the duchess' claims in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which included enduring racism and experiencing suicidal thoughts.

During a heated discussion, Underwood asked Osbourne: "what would you say to people who may feel that, while you're standing by your friend, it appears that you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don't agree?"

Osbourne replied: “I feel even 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.”

She later said she was “truly sorry” if she caused offence with her comments. In a later interview she said she felt she had been "set up" by the show, calling herself a "sacrificial lamb.”