CBS launches 'internal review' of 'The Talk' after Sharon Osbourne's discussion about racism
CBS says Sharon Osbourne's heated discussion about race, spurred by her previous support of Piers Morgan, on Wednesday's episode of "The Talk" is now under review.
"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," a spokesperson for the network told Fox News in a statement.
On Wednesday, Osbourne made headlines for her exchange with "The Talk" co-host Sheryl Underwood. The two, along with Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth, were discussing the intense backlash Morgan received this week for his controversial comments about Meghan Markle following the duchess and Prince Harry's sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
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During the discussion Wednesday, the 68-year-old wife of Ozzy Osbourne clarified her support of Morgan, which she initially posted to Twitter. She explained that while she doesn't agree with Morgan's opinion, she supported his voicing it.
"I know he has a right to say what he feels on the interview, as we have a right to say and everybody has a right to say what they feel with freedom of speech," she said, per "Entertainment Tonight." "Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No, because it's his opinion. It's not my opinion."
Osbourne continued: "But why is it that because I supported a long-time friend and work colleague of mine for years that everybody goes, if you support him, then you must be racist because he's racist?"
Co-host Kloots said "it's always really hard when you see a good friend going through a difficult situation, and you know them on a different level and really know their personal heart and their minds," adding that she understands why the former reality star would reach out to support her old pal.
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However, Underwood recounted trying to speak with Morgan about how his criticism of the Duchess of Sussex has "racist implications."
"He doesn't want to understand how Meghan was treated was racism and then says ... 'I don't see it as being racist -- I don't believe what she's going through' -- it's that white entitlement, privilege that makes it racist upon itself," the comedian stated. "So if you're saying 'I stand with you,' how do you address people who say then you are standing with racism? I'm not saying that you are."
Welteroth said it would have been an opportunity for Osbourne to "stand up for anti-racism."
"When we give passes or give space to people who are saying damaging, harmful things, what we're kind of doing is [permitting] it," she said. "And I think that's what people are reacting to."
Osbourne then asked: "So if I like Piers and he's seen as racist, I'm racist? Is that what you're saying?"
The other women explained that they didn't see it that way, but did see how Morgan's comments -- specifically that he didn't believe Markle's claims which included racism and mental health struggles -- to be racist.
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"You're entitled to the rest of your opinions, but when you bypass her experience and you don't acknowledge that experience of racism, you are distracting with all of this other information about being a royalist," Welteroth said.
Osbourne took to social media on Friday to issue a lengthy statement explaining she had done "some reflection."
"After sitting with your comments & 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 & support from the black community & I have deep respect & 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," Osbourne's statement begins.
She went on to say she felt "panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & 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 & will continue to learn, listen and do better," Osbourne's statement continues.
The "Talk" co-host then condemned racism.
"Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying. I should have been more specific about that in my tweet. I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn't make that clear distinction. I hope we can collectively continue to learn from each other & from ourselves so we can all continue to pave the way for much needed growth & change. The community on this platform means a lot to me. I hope we can all hold each other up with accountability, compassion & love during this powerful time of paving the way for so much needed change," she concluded.
Fox News' Nate Day contributed to this report.