The Talk Goes on Brief Hiatus After Sharon Osbourne’s Heated Defense of Piers Morgan

Former co-host Holly Robinson Peete has also accused Osbourne of calling her too "ghetto"

Sharon Osbourne The Talk hiatus
Sharon Osbourne, via The Talk

A heated conversation between The Talk co-hosts Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood about Piers Morgan has led CBS to conduct an internal review and put the show on a brief hiatus. The incident occurred on Wednesday’s program, when the two argued whether Morgan’s criticism of Meghan Markle was racist or not.

Morgan walked off the set of his morning TV show Good Morning Britain when co-host Alex Beresford called him out after he had lambasted Markle for her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. The onetime America’s Got Talent host questioned Markle’s claims that she suffered mental health issues as part of the royal family and even contemplated suicide. The following day, Morgan permanently parted ways the show.

Osbourne defended Morgan on Twitter, writing, “@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.”

The next day, Osbourne and Underwood discussed the matter on The Talk, with Osbourne getting visibly upset. Underwood asked her, “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?” And Osbourne responded, “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?”

On Friday, after reflection, Osbourne tweeted a lengthy apology, writing in part, “After some reflection, after sitting with your comments and sitting with my heart, I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday. 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.”

Meanwhile, Holly Robinson Peete, a one-time co-host on The Talk, suggested in a tweet that Osbourne was partly responsible for her being dismissed from the show: “I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too ‘ghetto’ for ‘The Talk’… then I was gone,” Robinson Peete tweeted on Friday. “I bring this up now [because] I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took [with] her co-host who remained calm & respectful.”

Osbourne has since responded to Robinson Peete’s claim, saying she never uttered the words “too ghetto” and sharing a seemingly supportive email that Robinson Peete sent her after she was let go from The Talk.

All this has led CBS to put The Talk on a brief hiatus, cancelling Monday and Tuesday’s programs as they probe the situation. “We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace,” read a statement from the network. “All matters related to the Wednesday episode of ‘The Talk’ are currently under internal review.” The show is expected to resume filming this coming Wednesday.

See the exchange between Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood below, as well as the aforementioned tweets from Osbourne and Holly Robinson Peete.