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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sharon Osbourne quits The Talk over racism controversy

Sharon Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne
Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Sharon Osbourne has departed CBS’s long-running morning chat show The Talk, Deadline reports. The last original cast member of the series, Osbourne has, in the words of the network, “made the decision to depart the show” after an inquiry into an incident that happened on-camera on March 10, in which she and co-host Sheryl Underwood argued about Osbourne’s defense of her old friend Piers Morgan.

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This all stems, in case you’ve (quite understandably) been trying to blank this particularly story out, from Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle on Good Morning Britain, which sparked his departure from that series. Osbourne hopped on social media to defend her old pal, and then, like, quadrupled down on its when Underwood questioned her about that stance, and Osbourne’s repeated assertions that neither she, nor Morgan, were racists. That, in turn encouraged plenty of new (and also old) critiques of Osbourne, including by former Talk co-host Holly Robinson Peete, who re-surfaced claims that Osbourne once called her “too ghetto, and arranged to have her removed from the series. All of which contributed to CBS launching an inquiry into the March 10 broadcast. All of which led the network to release the following statement today:

The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home. 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. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.

(That last bit is in response to Osbourne’s claims, mid-apology, that she’d been set up or otherwise manipulated into having the conversation in question on-air.)

Osbourne herself has yet to comment on the news; the most recent posting on her Twitter account is the apology she issued on March 11. The Talk, which was put on hiatus in the immediate aftermath of the argument, is set to return on April 12. No word on who’ll be filling Osbourne’s seat on the show’s panel, but you can read the rest of CBS’s statement below:

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.

During this week’s hiatus, we are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew. Going forward, we are identifying plans to enhance the producing staff and producing procedures to better serve the hosts, the production and, ultimately, our viewers.