CBS says The Talk will stay off the air for another week as the network continues its investigation into last week’s explosive racism debate amid new allegations against Sharon Osbourne.
“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,” CBS said in a statement Friday.
The daytime show took a hiatus on Monday and Tuesday after CBS launched an investigation into Wednesday’s tense exchange between Osbourne and fellow panelist Sheryl Underwood. The show had been expected to return with a new episode on Wednesday, March 17. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, production won’t resume until Tuesday, Mar. 23.
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News of the show’s latest production delay came after a bombshell report was released Tuesday claiming Osbourne used racist and homophobic slurs against former co-hosts Julie Chen, who is Asian American, and Sara Gilbert, who is a lesbian.
The report, published by journalist Yashar Ali in his email newsletter, claims Osbourne railed against her then-fellow panelists because she was angry that Chen wanted a larger role on the show and Gilbert, also executive producer, did nothing about it.
Ali said he spoke with 11 people, including former co-host Leah Remini, who was let go from The Talk after season 1 along with Holly Robinson Peete. The new report also alleged Osbourne called then-moderator Chen “slanty eyes” and “wonton,” and described Gilbert as a “fish eater.”
Remini additionally told Ali Osbourne called her Italian slurs including “WOP,” and she backed up Robinson Peete’s claim last week that Osbourne tried to get her fired because she thought the actress and activist was “too ghetto” for the show.
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Osbourne’s publicist Howard Bragman told Yashar Ali the claims against his client are false.
“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 U.K. and other gestures of kindness too many to name,” Bragman said. “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.”
The Talk is currently hosted by Osbourne, Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba and this season’s newcomers journalist Elaine Welteroth and fitness instructor Amanda Kloots.
All of this is unfolding after a heated exchange between Underwood and Osbourne, who came under fire for defending British TV personality Piers Morgan on social media after he dismissed Meghan Markle’s allegations of racism in the royal family during her interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Tension escalated on The Talk when Underwood asked Osbourne, “What would you say to people who feel that while you’re standing by your friend [Morgan], it appears that you give validation or safe haven to something that he’s uttered that is racist? Even if you don’t agree with it.”
Osbourne responded, “I don’t know what he’s uttered that’s racist. I’m not trying to slide out of this one, I don’t know—tell me. What has he uttered that’s racist?” She then became defensive, raised her voice at Underwood and said, “And I think we should stop this f–king,” before her microphone was muted.
Osbourne later apologized for losing her cool after social media users accused her of “public gaslighting.”