CBS says its daytime show “The Talk” will stay on hiatus for another week after a discussion about racism involving co-host Sharon Osbourne went off the rails last week.
The network said in a statement that it is committed to “a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary.”
Osbourne reacted angrily last week during a discussion about British television personality Piers Morgan, who she describes as a friend. Morgan left the “Good Morning Britain” show after he said he didn’t believe Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, when she said in an interview that she had considered suicide when unhappy with her life in Britain’s royal family.
A fellow host, Sheryl Underwood, said to Osbourne on the show last Wednesday, “what would you say to people who may feel that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?” Underwood, like Markle, is Black.
Osbourne replied angrily, using words that were bleeped out, and said she felt like she was being placed on “the electric chair” for having a friend that some people think is racist.
The emotional discussion continued after a commercial break. At one point Osbourne said to Underwood, “don’t try to cry. If anyone should be crying, it should be me.”
Osbourne claimed later that the show’s producers told her offscreen that CBS had ordered she be confronted about her support for Morgan. CBS has not addressed that accusation.
The network would not say precisely what claims it is investigating. CBS said in a statement that it “is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions.”
Journalist Yashar Ali posted a story on Tuesday saying that Osbourne, wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne who came to fame during MTV’s series about the family, has a history of making culturally offensive and bullying comments.
In response to that story, Osbourne spokesman Howard Bragman said she is “disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment.”
CBS said the show is expected back on the air next Tuesday.
Source: Associated Press – DAVID BAUDER