CBS has canceled Monday and Tuesday’s episodes of “The Talk” and launched an investigation after one of the show’s co-hosts, Sharon Osbourne, defended Piers Morgan on air.
Osbourne stuck up for Morgan after he criticized Meghan Markle for her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey in which Markle claimed that she was the victim of racism and was barred from getting mental health treatment while living at Buckingham Palace. Osbourne later apologized for her comments as CBS launched an investigation and sent the show on hiatus, according to Deadline.
Last week, Morgan said he “didn’t believe a word” of Markle’s interview, prompting an investigation by the British government and his resignation from his morning show, “Good Morning Britain.”
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.”
CBS confirmed that the network launched an investigation into Wednesday’s episode on Friday. “We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace,” CBS said in a statement. “All matters related to the Wednesday episode of The Talk are currently under internal review.”
The same day, Osbourne put out a statement apologizing for her comments on the Wednesday episode and after a reported off-air meeting between the co-hosts.
“I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the black community & I have deep respect and love for the black community. To anyone of color I offended and/or to anyone who feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,” Osbourne wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive, & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over. There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast!”
“Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny, or bullying,” she added. “I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction.”
Morgan later demanded an apology from CBS and accused it of bullying Osbourne into apologizing.
“Sharon’s been shamed & bullied into apologising for defending me against colleagues accusing me of racism because I don’t believe Meghan Markle’s bulls***,” Morgan tweeted on Friday. “This is where we’ve reached. I demand an apology from those @TheTalkCBS bullies for their disgraceful slurs against ME.”
Sharon's been shamed & bullied into apologising for defending me against colleagues accusing me of racism because I don't believe Meghan Markle's bullsh*t.
This is where we've reached.
I demand an apology from those @TheTalkCBS bullies for their disgraceful slurs against ME. https://t.co/kguRA8KVPJ
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 12, 2021