“The Talk” is going on a brief hiatus after Sharon Osbourne last week lashed out at critics and defended embattled British TV personality Piers Morgan, who is under fire for his attacks on Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
A CBS spokesperson told NBC News in an email that the panel show was taking a break this week as the network conducts an internal review of the heated exchange between co-host Sheryl Underwood and the wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne.
On Wednesday, Osbourne said she shouldn’t be criticized for standing by her friend Morgan, who stormed off the set of ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” and left the show.
Morgan, a longtime critic of Meghan and her husband Prince Harry, rejected the American actress’ revelations during the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey that she experienced suicidal thoughts.
“I feel even 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,” Osbourne said on “The Talk.”
Underwood, who is Black, gently pushed back on Osbourne and even prefaced a question of her British colleague with a compliment: “I’ve never seen anything come out of you other than, ‘If I don’t know, I’m willing to learn. If I come off a certain way, I stand corrected.'”
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“What would you say to people who may feel that while you’re standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?” Underwood asked.
Osbourne said she didn’t believe Morgan’s rejection of Meghan’s admission of mental health struggles was racist. Osbourne then pivoted, claiming she was being unfairly called a racist.
While trying to go to break, Underwood became tongue-tied.
As she said, “Well we’ll be right back,” Osbourne shot back at Underwood.
“Well what?” she asked. “Well what?”
Osbourne continued to press Underwood once the show returned from break.
“I will ask you again Sheryl. I’ve been asking you during the break. I’m asking you again. And don’t try and cry because if anyone should be crying, it should be me,” she said. “This is the situation. You tell me where you have heard him say … educate me, tell me when you have heard me say racist things! Educate me, tell me!”
Underwood explained Morgan’s instant rejection of Meghan’s claim comes off as less than genuine.
“To not want to address that because she is a Black woman, and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is, that’s what makes it racist,” Underwood said.
She then tried to soothe Osbourne.
“But right now, I’m talking to a woman who I believe is my friend and I don’t want anybody here to watch this and think we are attacking you for being racist,” Underwood said.
On Friday, Osbourne alleged she was “blindsided” with questions about Morgan by producers during the heated exchange with Underwood.
About eight minutes before the show began on Wednesday, Osbourne said the show runners called her and asked her if it was OK if they spoke about Morgan.
“I said, ‘Sure, they can ask me whatever.’ But then I get on there, I say my piece and Sheryl (Underwood) turns around straight-faced, looks at me and is reading from a card with questions,” Osbourne told Variety.
“I was just so hurt, caught off guard and stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared. I was honestly in shock. I felt like I was in front of a firing squad. I felt like a lamb held out for slaughter… They had me there for 20 minutes,” she said.
According to Variety, a CBS spokesperson declined to comment on Osbourne’s latest remarks and referred the publication to the network’s statement released on Friday afternoon.
“We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of “The Talk” are currently under internal review,” the network said.
On Thursday, Osbourne apologized for comments during the show on Twitter.
“I have always been embraced with so much love and support from the Black community and I have deep respect and love for the Black community. To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,” she tweeted.
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 12, 2021
“I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive and allowed my fear and 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! I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us and will continue to learn, listen and do better,” she said.