The dust has finally settled on the whole Sharon Osbourne – The Talk controversy with Deadline reporting that CBS network announced the longtime co-host will be leaving the daytime talk show following the allegations of misconduct and usage of offensive language. She had recently triggered a controversy on the show when she defended her friend and host of Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan following Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. The racist allegations against her were swift to follow, causing a major controversy for the show and network.
Sharon Osbourne made her controversial defense of Morgan during the episode which aired on March 10th and it led to allegations of racism against the former. As the furor around the controversy rose, The Talk went on a hiatus with CBS beginning to conduct an internal investigation. The result of that was Osbourne now forced to leave the show.
The episode in question featured Sharon Osbourne openly supporting Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle’s recent admission that she faced racism at the hands of the British Royal Family. Post his admission that he was “sickened” by Markle’s interview and called it a “trash-a-thon” of the monarchy. Morgan had to step away from Good Morning Britain in response to the outrage caused by his comments.
CBS, in their statement, said that the events that took place on the March 10th episode were not just upsetting to the audience but to the crew of the show as well. Under their internal investigation, the network reached the conclusion that Sharon Osbourne’s behavior towards her co-hosts during the broadcast of the show was not right and didn’t align with CBS’ “values for a respectful workplace.” Their investigation also established that the former show host was not tricked or blindsided into making any of the comments that she did- her statements were her own, without any contributions or push from any of the hosts.
But at the same time, the network accepted full responsibility for the controversy the episode triggered. They have admitted that neither Sharon Osbourne nor the rest of the co-hosts were well prepared to handle a “complex and sensitive discussion involving race.”
So, as to curb the repetition of the problem in the future, CBS is using The Talk’s week-long hiatus to trains its staff and co-hosts about certain topics and amp up their awareness. They will be conducting workshops, listening sessions as well as detailed training that will increase their hosts, producers, and crew’s “equity, inclusion, and cultural awareness”.
“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,” reads CBS’s network’s official statement.
Sharon Osbourne has been one of the last original The Talk co-host since its inception in 2010 and has been on the show for the past 11 seasons. Before Osbourne, it was original show co-host, Julie Chen who had to leave the show after her husband, the then-CBS CEO Les Moonves, faced allegations of misconduct.
It is now left to be seen whether The Talk decides to replace Sharon Osbourne or goes forward with her slot empty once they return from their hiatus on April 12th.