Sharon Osbourne has left “The Talk” after her on-air row with Sheryl Underwood, as CBS say her actions “did not align with our values for a respectful workplace”.
The 68-year-old entertainer clashed with her co-host during an episode of the CBS talk show on March 10, when she defended her friend Piers Morgan against allegations of racism following his comments about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The argument prompted CBS to launch an investigation into the show – which has been off air for almost two weeks due to the controversy – and on Friday, the broadcaster announced Sharon would not be returning to the show as her actions “did not align with our values for a respectful workplace”.
In a lengthy statement, they said: “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 behaviour 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 host.
“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.”
CBS also confirmed “The Talk” will remain off air for another two weeks before returning to screens on April 12.
Sharon’s row with Sheryl began when she was defending Piers after he said he didn’t believe Duchess Meghan when she said she was battling suicidal thoughts, which prompted Sheryl to say: “While you are standing by you your friend, it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist.”
Sharon replied: “Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things?
“I very much feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend, who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist?
“How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life.”
The show then cut to a commercial break, but when it returned, she continued to press Sheryl for an explanation as to what was racist about Piers’ comments and added: “And don’t try and cry, because if anyone should be crying, it should be me.”
The following day, Sharon apologised for her remarks.
She said: “I am truly sorry. I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over.”
However, following the row, Leah Remini accused Sharon of using derogatory terms against fellow ‘The Talk’ stars Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert.
According to the actress and other sources, the showbiz matriarch had called Julie – who is Chinese-American – “wonton” and “slanty eyes”, as well as calling Sara, who is a lesbian, a “p**** licker” and “fish eater”.
But Sharon has branded the claims “c***” and insisting people are simply trying to “add fuel to the fire” following her row with Sheryl.