Sharon Osbourne Out From Talk Show After Defending Piers Morgan, Receiving Potentially 8-Figure Payout
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 19: "The Talk," Friday, February 19th, 2021 on the CBS Television Network. Sharon Osbourne, shown. Guests: Storm Reid and Ross Butler. (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)
Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Sharon Osbourne is leaving the television show she has cohosted for 11 years after getting into a heated exchange on air over Piers Morgan’s comments on Meghan Markle.

Morgan was under heavy criticism for saying he “didn’t believe a word” of what Markle claimed in a March 7 interview with Oprah Winfrey. Osbourne defended Morgan against allegations of racism over his critical comments, which resulted in the suspension of Osbourne’s show “The Talk” while CBS launched an investigation into Osbourne’s conduct.

The network announced on Friday that Osbourne had decided to quit “The Talk,” saying that their internal investigation found that Osbourne’s actions “did not align with our values.” The network also denied Osbourne’s claims that show producers had blindsided her with a discussion on race. The CBS statement said, according to Deadline:

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.

At the same time, we acknowledge the Network and Studio teams, as well as the showrunners, are accountable for what happened during that broadcast as it was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.

During this week’s hiatus, we are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew. 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.

Osbourne is reportedly receiving a payout from the network as high as $10 million amid her departure.

“Sharon is walking away with a $5 to $10 million minimum payout and was able to spin that it was her decision [to leave the show],” a source told Page Six.

Another source told the outlet that Osbourne is leaving the show without a non-disclosure agreement and is free to talk about her departure and any other part of her 11-year career cohosting “The Talk.”

“Sharon will talk when she is ready,” the source told Page Six. “She still wants to give her side of the story. She has been on that show for 11 years and knows all the secrets.”

Osbourne got into a heated discussion with co-host Sheryl Underwood during a March 10 episode of the show. Morgan was facing allegations of racism for questioning Markle’s claims, which included having suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy and receiving a racist comment from a member of the royal family. As The Daily Wire reported:

On Wednesday’s episode of “The Talk,” Osbourne broke down in tears attempting to defend Morgan against accusations of racism from her fellow co-host Sheryl Underwood.

“I feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is racist, so that makes me a racist,” Osbourne said. “I will ask you again Sheryl … and don’t try and cry because if anyone should be crying, it should be me. This is the situation, you tell me where you have heard him say racist things. Educate me.”

Underwood responded, “It’s not the exact words of racism. It’s the implication and the reaction to it. To not want to address that because [Markle] is a black woman and to try to dismiss it, or to make it seem like less than what it is, that’s what makes it racist.”

Related: ‘I Wouldn’t Believe It If She Read Me The Weather Report’: Piers Morgan Furiously Rips Meghan Markle After Oprah Interview

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