Sharon Osbourne’s daytime TV show The Talk is currently under internal review by CBS due to a heated conversation she had with co-host Sheryl Underwood. Now, new allegations against Osbourne have emerged in a report from investigative journalist Yashar Ali, who cites former Talk co-host Leah Remini among his sources.
Last week, Osbourne defended UK TV host Piers Morgan, who said he didn’t believe Meghan Markle after her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which Markle said she experienced racism with the royal family and even contemplated suicide. Some had suggested that Morgan’s comments were racist, but Osbourne tweeted, “@piersmorgan, I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.”
That led to an emotional exchange in which Osbourne told Underwood on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk, “Educate me, tell me when you have heard [Piers Morgan] 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?”
Osbourne apologized Friday on Twitter to “anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said.” That same day, former Talk co-host Holly Robinson Peete alleged that Osbourne suggested that she was too “ghetto”, and that may have led to her dismissal from the show. Osbourne quickly denied Robinson Peete’s accusations.
Now, reporter Yashar Ali, who has written for Huffington Post and New York magazine, posted an article on his personal Substack site detailing alleged past offensive language by Osbourne, citing multiple sources.
According to Ali, who has broken big stories in the past, he began investigating The Talk in 2018 after the show’s dismissals of Robinson Peete and Remini. It was part of a larger investigation on former CBS chief executive Les Moonves, who was accused of sexual misconduct and eventually resigned from the job. Moonves is married to former Talk co-host Julie Chen.
Ali said that according to testimonials from multiple sources, including Remini, Osbourne used such offensive language as “wonton” and “slanty eyes” to describe Chen. The report further claims that Osbourne used the slurs “fish eater” and “p**sy licker” to describe actress Sara Gilbert, an openly lesbian former co-host of The Voice.
Per Remini, Osbourne uttered phrases like, “Why won’t the p**sy licker do anything about the wonton?” and “Why won’t the fish eater be part of this discussion?”
Furthermore, Ali reports that Remini told him that Osbourne used the Italian ethnic slurs “WOP” and “Guinea” around her, but that she also got caught up in the offensive language. “Not only did I do nothing about the racism and bullying I was receiving and witnessing, I was party to it,” Remini told Ali. “I had to own up to my own ugly.” The King of Queens actress added that The Talk was a “toxic environment” and said she was “easily manipulated into a web of high school vitriol, hatred and bullying.”
In a further statement to Ali, Remini said, “Although being fired was devastating at that time, in part because someone we considered a friend turned on us for a show we helped to create, I am grateful for the time away to do the work I needed to do. Coming from Scientology, where racism, bullying and bigotry is taught, I had to unlearn a lot. I’m still learning and hopefully evolving. I can’t say that Sharon has focused on the work she needs to do.”
Ali reached out to Sharon Osbourne for comment, and received the following statement from her publicist: “The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
The Talk was put on hiatus on Monday and Tuesday of this week, following last week’s exchange between Osbourne and Underwood. The program was slated to return with new shows on Wednesday (March 17th), but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will be on hiatus through next Tuesday, at the earliest.
CBS issued the following new statement: “CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions. We’re also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on The Talk. This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary. The show will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as we continue to review these issues.”
Ali’s report lists a number of other incidents involving Sharon Osbourne, and can be found in full here. Osbourne’s exchange with Underwood can be seen below.