Sharon Osbourne Responds to Racial Slur Accusations Following ‘The Talk’ Confrontation Fallout
Sharon Osbourne is now sharing her view that the recent conflict between herself and Sheryl Underwood on The Talk was part of a setup by executives at CBS after her recent defense of Piers Morgan.
CBS recently put their daytime talk show The Talk on hiatus while investigating the confrontation that took place on the show with Underwood questioning fellow co-host Osbourne over her support of Piers Morgan's response to the recent Meghan Markle interview.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Osbourne says she feels that what happened on-air with Underwood was set in motion by CBS executives unhappy with her support of Morgan after the network recently aired the Markle-Prince Harry interview with Oprah.
To recap, during Markle's interview on CBS she and her husband detailed the intense public scrutiny and bullying placed upon them by the British media. In the midst of the interview, Markle admitted to having suicidal thoughts and she discussed the unhealthy mental state she was enduring before she and Harry gave up their royal titles.
When Morgan spoke on British television's Good Morning Britain denouncing Markle's comments about her mental health and having suicidal thoughts, one of his on-air colleagues questioned Morgan's motives in doing so, alluding to the host having a grudge against Markle after she cut off communication. Morgan balked at the questioning, then walked off the set while still live on TV and later resigned from his show.
In the aftermath of Morgan's storming off the set and eventual resignation, Osbourne tweeted, “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.”
That led to a discussion on The Talk in which Underwood questioned Osbourne's support of Morgan. "What would you say to people who may feel that while you're standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don't agree? Am I saying it right?," asked Underwood.
Osbourne responded, "Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things? I very much feel 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? How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life? And don't try and cry, because if anyone should be crying, it should be me."
Osbourne later apologized to Underwood on social media in a lengthy missive seen below. Meanwhile Underwood addressed the situation on her podcast revealing that she had been tasked with moderating the discussion and reminding her audience that she said to Osbourne "forgive me." "When I can get 'Forgive me' out of my mouth, that means you are ready for the healing," Underwood said. "I said 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I never meant to hurt you.'"
Underwood said she was disappointed by the exchange but was determined to "manage it" and added "people go through stuff all the time on shows."
Offering more in terms of the context beyond what people saw, Osbourne spoke with Entertainment Tonight where she explained from her point of view some of the background that led up to the questioning on the program.
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Osbourne revealed that she feels what people saw was part of a setup by CBS Executives. She told the entertainment news show that in the past, the show's panelists had been put in uncomfortable situations having to ask questions of one another while not being prepped in advance.
She referenced an exchange in which Carrie Ann Inaba was charged with asking co-host Elaine Welteroth a "very naive" question she had been given by producers about why white people couldn't use the "N-word." That the moment led to the panel deciding amongst themselves to avoid putting each other in a position that might blindside one another, according to Osbourne.
According to Osbourne, a producer had asked if she would "clear up the Piers thing again" and added that "maybe one of [the panelists] doesn't agree with you." But she revealed that she didn't expect Underwood to imply that she was giving cover to racism.
“I’ve been set up,” Osbourne told ET. “And I went, like, how dare you all do this to me? I’m your sacrificial lamb.”
Osbourne admitted that her "don't try and cry" comment was "having a go" at Underwood, stating, “I got too personal with Sheryl. I should never have said [anything] about her tears. I should never have dismissed her feelings on national TV. Ever. But I said it, I have to own it."
But as Osbourne says, her anger in the moment was not aimed at her co-hosts so much as it was the network. “I think CBS was so horrified with Piers for the things he was saying — because remember, Harry and Meghan, it’s a CBS interview,” she said. “I had sided with Piers, so it’s the cancel culture, isn’t it? Throw her under the bus."
In the ET interview, Osbourne claims that two of The Talk's show runners revealed that they had been pushed to forward the line of questioning by CBS execs, but would not name names.
Osbourne added, “I just felt, this is the biggest setup ever, and I’m falling into it, and I’m going deeper down this hole.”
In the aftermath of the Osbourne and Underwood exchange, former co-hosts on The Talk Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini also came forth relaying instances in which Osbourne had used insensitive language or racial slurs during her time on the set. Peete claimed that Osbourne said she was "too ghetto" for the show, something that Osbourne then denied online by sharing an email exchange between the two.
Meanwhile Substack journalist Yashar Ali compiled a list of alleged slurs used by Osbourne on set, which included reportedly calling onetime Talk host Julie Chen "wonton" and "slanty eyes," as was confirmed for the article by multiple sources including Remini. The article also alleges Osbourne referred to lesbian former co-host and the show's producer Sara Gilbert as a "pussy licker" and "fish eater," also confirmed by sources including Remini.
UPDATE: Osbourne has now addressed accusations of using racial slurs on the set of The Talk with the Daily Mail.
In an interview, The Talk co-host stated, "Everyone's got an opinion or a story like the wonton story. It's like fuck off with your fucking wonton story. Fuck off! Everybody's got an opinion and everybody's got a voice – it's fine. It's about knowing somebody's been called out for something and then somebody else is like, 'yes!! I'm going to add something too.' Of course, it's a pile on. People want to add fuel to the fire and it comes with the territory and that's fine."
As for the Peete and Remini accusations, Osbourne stated, "In situations like this, you're always going to get people who you've had disagreements with in the past, people who've got axes to grind, who come out of the woodwork and they'll come out with their BS and that's it. It doesn't surprise me at all. It doesn't surprise me."
She added, "Being accused of racism is no joke. Now they get their sweet revenge. I can't even address it because it's kids in a schoolyard. Coming out with stupid, childish comments – it's like really? That's all you've got?"
When asked specifically if she had called Julie Chen a "wonton," as was suggested by Remini, Osbourne stated, "It's all crap. It's all crap. I don't want to go there with her. She makes her living out of outing people. So, it's like come on. It's got no real foundation. Allegations of calling a Chinese lady a wonton, it's like – is that all you've got? It's like really?"
Osbourne also reiterated during the Daily Mail interview that she felt she was being set up and grew angrier when the discussion was not curtailed after the first commercial break and allowed to continue for another 20 minutes.
Osbourne told ET that she demanded an investigation to where the line of questioning came from. She also added, “I wish that we could go on and have a adult conversation calmly and work it out. But I don’t know whether we can. I don’t know whether it’s gone past that. But I don’t know whether I want to go back. I don’t know whether I’m wanted there.”
You can see more of the ET interview here. At present, The Talk is expected to remain on hiatus through March 23.