Television host Sharon Osbourne blasted CBS and her costars on “The Talk” earlier this week, claiming the controversy sparked by her defense of Piers Morgan was a “set up.”
Osbourne appeared Tuesday on Entertainment Tonight after she was slammed and her talk show put on hiatus. Last week, Osbourne stood up for Morgan, former cohost of “Good Morning Britain,” after he said he “didn’t believe a word” of Meghan Markle’s March 7 interview with Oprah Winfrey. Markle had claimed that Buckingham Palace barred her from seeking treatment for suicidal thoughts and accused an unnamed royal of racist behavior.
CBS placed “The Talk” on hiatus for two days following Osbourne’s defense of Morgan, which one of her cohosts suggested was racist. The network has since extended the break until next week as it investigates Osbourne’s comments. Osbourne claims that the scandal was orchestrated against her by producers.
Osbourne said that the questions asked her by “The Talk” cohosts “had preparation, they had written questions for them.” She said that a show runner had asked her beforehand whether she was comfortable talking about Morgan but that she was never warned about the accusatory tone the questions took during the show.
“Sheryl [Underwood] turns around and asks me this question and … she was reading it off a card. It wasn’t on my cards. And then Elaine [Welteroth]’s reading her questions and I’m like, I’ve been set up. They’re setting me up. My anger was like, I cannot believe this, I’m your sacrificial lamb,” Osbourne told Entertainment Tonight.
Osbourne questioned whether she will return to the show when it is scheduled to come off its extended break on Tuesday next week.
“I wish we could go on and have a adult conversation calmly and work it out but I don’t know whether we can,” she said. “I don’t know whether it’s gone past that. I would love to but I don’t know whether I even want to go back. … I don’t know whether I’m wanted there.”
In the wake of the controversial episode that sparked Osbourne’s troubles, allegations have surfaced against the talk show host claiming that she has routinely used racist and derogatory language to refer to her fellow cohosts. Leah Remini, who cohosted on “The Talk” with Osbourne when the show began in 2010 until Remini left the next year, told independent journalist Yashar Ali that Osbourne had referred to her as a WOP and Guinea, racial slurs for Italians.
Remini also claimed that Osbourne called Julie Chen, cohost of “The Talk” from 2010 to 2018, “Wonton” and “Slanty Eyes,” in reference to her Asian ancestry. Osbourne allegedly derided former “The Talk” co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, a lesbian, as “p**** licker” and “fish eater.”
Osbourne’s publicist Howard Bragman responded to Remini’s claims in a statement on Tuesday.
“The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name,” Bragman said. “Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
On Friday, Former cohost Holly Robinson, who is black, wrote on Twitter that Osbourne had called her “ghetto.”
“I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too ‘ghetto’ for #theTalk…then I was gone,” Robinson wrote. “I bring this up now bc I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took w/her co host who remained calm & respectful because…she HAD to.”
Osbourne put out a statement that same day apologizing for her comments on “The Talk” relating to Morgan, distancing herself from Morgan’s comments on Markle but insisting that she still supports free speech.
“Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny, or bullying,” Osbourne said. “I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction.”
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