Sharon Osbourne leaving The Talk after CBS investigation – Los Angeles Times
Sharon Osbourne, the last original panelist on “The Talk,” is leaving the daytime show following an internal investigation, CBS announced Friday afternoon.
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” the network said in a statement. “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 network acknowledged that “Network and Studio teams, as well as the showrunners” were accountable for what happened during an intense exchange between Osbourne and fellow panelist Sheryl Underwood, noting that it was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared for the moment.
“The Talk,” which has been on hiatus for two weeks pending results of the CBS investigation, will return with original episodes on April 12. A hiatus had been previously scheduled for the week of April 5.
The explosive conversation between the co-hosts was sparked by Osbourne’s defense a day earlier of Piers Morgan, who was accused of racism for his failure to believe certain comments the former Meghan Markle made in her recent interview with Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey. Morgan wound up quitting his gig on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain.”
“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,” Osbourne said of Morgan on March 10. She declared that neither she nor Morgan was racist, even as she “had a go” — her words, spoken in another interview — at Underwood and asked for an education about what he’d said that was racist. Osbourne apologized for her behavior in a March 11 statement on Twitter.
Underwood remained calm during the March 10 discussion and revisited the situation days later on her podcast, saying she thought at the time that she was having a “great conversation” with her colleagues. “The vibe for me was, this was already forgiven and over as soon as it was said,” she said on her podcast.
Osbourne had blamed studio executives, saying she was intentionally blindsided with a question that accused her of being racist. She said soon after the March 10 blow-up that she wasn’t sure if she was “welcome there” at “The Talk” and that she might not return.
During the probe, Osbourne retained the counsel of entertainment litigator Jeremiah Reynolds of Eisner LLP, whose company biography says he has represented Richard Gere, Justin Bieber, Michael Keaton, Paris Hilton, Tom Hanks, the Kardashian family and others in addition to the Osbourne family.
CBS said Friday that it was using the time off to coordinate workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for all those involved with production of “The Talk,” including the remaining hosts.
“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,” the network said.