The CBS daytime show “The Talk” has been yanked from the schedule for the first part of this week after a tense on-set exchange between two of the hosts. The subject was race and the controversial remarks made by Meghan Markle in her recent interview. During the program, host Sharon Osbourne defended Piers Morgan’s attacks on Markle.
. @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.
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 9, 2021
Here’s part of one exchange on “The Talk” between co-host Sheryl Underwood and Osbourne that sparked debate (watch above).
Underwood: “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? Am I saying it right?”
Osbourne: “Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things?” Osbourne said. “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?”
The Hollywood Reporter adds: An increasingly agitated Osbourne replied, “How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life,” she said, cursing as Underwood went to a commercial break. When the show returned, she continued demanding Underwood explain what was racist about Morgan’s comments, and added: “And don’t try and cry, because if anyone should be crying, it should be me.”
Osbourne later apologized on her Twitter feed, writing in part:
“I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive and allowed my fear and 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 and will continue to learn, listen and do better.”
The producers of the program could use the platform to address race and clear the air but CBS decided instead for a brief hiatus. Variety reports:
The plan is currently to return to filming on Wednesday, a source says, but the show will evaluate and see where they are before moving forward. CBS declined comment, and pointed to its earlier statement on its investigation on Friday.
CBS’s earlier statement read, “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.”
There is no question a review is warranted, but putting the show on hiatus seems like it may only making the issue worse. It’s a decision has left a lot of people scratching their heads.
So because Sharon Osbourne was out of pocket … everybody has to be out of job? Make it make sense. https://t.co/3sCQgfoaPu
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 15, 2021
Don't really want to punish the white woman so to show that you punish everyone else too. Which then says everyone is guilty not just the white woman.
— Cookie (@SphynkCat) March 15, 2021
Ratings for “The Talk” have been declining, even with new hosts. The program was reportedly down 32% in mid-January compared to the same week one year ago.
This isn’t the only show dealing with the fallout of a race-related scandal. ABC’s The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise are also dealing with comments made by host Chris Harrison. Just last week it was announced Harrison wouldn’t be returning for the upcoming season.