Sharon Osbourne Is Leaving ‘The Talk’ Amid Allegations Of Racist Remarks And Misconduct

Sharon Osbourne, a founding member of the CBS show The Talk, will not be part of the broadcast when it returns to air next month. CBS announced on Friday that Osbourne would not return to the daytime program, which had been on extended hiatus after allegations against Osbourne exploded on air.

The incident came after Osbourne defended another TV host embroiled in scandal as a result of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Piers Morgan’s reaction to the interview on Good Morning Britain, in which he claimed not to believe Markle’s account of events that led to her cutting ties with the Royal Family, ended with him leaving his show as well.

But Osbourne, who is a friend of Morgan’s, defended him on Twitter in an event that soon put her own TV career in jeopardy. As the New York Times recapped, an on-air discussion of that defense forced the show to publicly address Osbourne’s own history of racist comments.

“What would you say to people who say that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you give validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?” Ms. Underwood asked.

Ms. Osbourne said she felt as if she were “about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist.”

“How can I be racist about anybody?” she asked during an especially tense moment in the exchange. “How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?”

The show was abruptly put on pause after that March 10 episode, and the delay was extended as more allegations against Osbourne were raised by others on the show. CBS then conducted a review of Osbourne and her behavior on the show, further delaying its return to air. As Deadline reported, not every allegation was found to have merit, but it further hurt Osbourne’s chances of returning to air.

To add flame to the fire, back on March 12 initial Talk co-host Robinson Peete took Osbourne to task for allegedly calling her “too ghetto” for the show and working to get her axed in 2011. Throwing personal correspondence with the ex-21 Jump Street star up on social media in reaction, Osbourne also claimed she had no power to get anyone fired from The Talk and that she never used terms like “too ghetto” in reference to Peete. That latter declaration was weakened when a clip from Season 1 of The Talk surfaced of Osbourne using that very term on-air in reference to Remini.

Through the investigation, Osbourne has been both remorseful for her actions on Twitter while later defending herself. Reports indicated that she’s contacted legal representation, and a number of interviews and PR statements have made the drama around The Talk intensify even as it wasn’t on air. As The Hollywood Reporter laid out, Osbourne at one point said that she had been “set up” to get fired.

Initially contrite on Twitter, Osbourne then went on the offense during the show’s hiatus. She gave interviews to both Variety and Entertainment Tonight, claiming that she had been “set up” by the producers and was offered up as a “sacrificial lamb.” Her publicist also issued a doozy of a statement, alluding to Remini and Robinson Peete’s comments by noting “The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host.” It’s not typically the strategy of someone expecting to keep their job, so the writing seemed to be on the wall.

CBS said on Friday that there was no evidence that executives “orchestrated” or “blindsided” hosts when discussing Morgan and the subjects that ultimately ended Osbourne’s time on the show. Friday’s news of Osbourne’s departure also came with a date for The Talk’s return to air. The show will be back on April 12.

Here’s CBS’s statement in full:

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 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.