Sharon Osbourne tearfully defends Piers Morgan on The Talk

Sharon Osbourne denies claims she used crude racial nicknames for The Talk cohosts as show is suspended again

Osbourne’s showThe Talk has been put on hiatus until 23 March as CBS investigates claims against her

Danielle Zoellner@dani__zoellner,Namita Singh
Wednesday 17 March 2021 08:45
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Sharon Osbourne, the longtime co-host of CBS’s daytime panel show The Talk, has denied making racial and homophobic comments against her former co-hosts.

Her clarification came after journalist Yashar Ali reported that Osbourne called her then-co-host Julie Chen, who is Asian-American, a “wonton” and “slanty eyes”.

She also allegedly referred to her former co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who is a lesbian, as “p**** licker” and “fish eater”, reported Ali, citing multiple sources including former co-host Leah Remini.

The report comes amid a backlash against Osbourne for defending controversial talk show host Piers Morgan, who himself attracted widespread criticism for saying he “didn’t believe a word” that Meghan Markle said during her interview with Oprah Winfrey, including her allegations of racism within the palace and her struggle with depression.

The new allegations against Osbourne began with Holly Robinson Peete tweeting that the talkshow host made racist statements against her when she was fired following The Talk‘s first season. Peete alleged that her former co-host complained that she was “too ghetto” for the show, claiming this was the reason she was let go.

Without directly commenting on that allegation, Osbourne swiftly responded to Peete saying: “In response to Holly Robinson Peete’s accusation of me getting her fired fromThe Talk, I am sharing an email sent to me from Holly one month after she was let go by CBS.”

Ali reported that Remini told him allegations Osbourne tried to get Peete fired for being “too ghetto” were true.

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Howard Bragman, a crisis public relations expert who now represents Osbourne, told Ali in a statement: “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.”

CBS has placed The Talk on hiatus until at least 23 March as it investigates the claims made against Obsbourne, who is the only original cohost still on the show after it started 11 years ago.

In a statement released on Tuesday, a CBS spokesperson said: “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 onThe 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.”