LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Sharon Osbourne is leaving the CBS daytime show “The Talk” after a discussion about racism went off the rails earlier in March.
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” ViacomCBS said in a statement. “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.”
The show was put on hiatus after the episode.
Osbourne reacted angrily 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, “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.
“We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts,” ViacomCBS said in Friday’s statement. “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.”
The network said during a hiatus they are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training, and will develop plans for producers to better serve the hosts.
Journalist Yashar Ali posted a story 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 says “The Talk” will return with original episodes on April 12.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.