Last week, The Talk co-hosts Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne made headlines after having an intense conversation about racism.
During the episode, Osbourne, 68, defended Piers Morgan following the backlash for his controversial remarks questioning the validity of Meghan Markle’s discussion on mental health during her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey. Osbourne has since apologized for what she called a “panicked” reaction on air.
In the course of their discussion, Underwood, 57, questioned Osbourne about her outspoken support of Morgan, 55, amid his criticism of the Duchess of Sussex.
“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?” Underwood asked.
Things quickly turned emotional, with Osbourne insisting that Underwood “educate” her and warning her not to cry during the episode. “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?” Osbourne asked while on the verge of tears.
Underwood explained that while Morgan was not overtly racist, she found it hard to understand why Osbourne was defending him so fiercely, telling her “it is not the exact words of racism, it’s the implication and the reaction to it.”
“To not want to address that because she is a Black woman, and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is that’s what makes it racist,” Underwood said. “But right now, I’m talking to a woman I believe is my friend and I don’t want anybody here to watch this and think we are attacking you for being racist.”
In the days following the incident, which took place during last Wednesday’s episode and prompted CBS to put The Talk on an extended hiatus, Underwood spoke out several times to explain her perspective.
“I got calls from all over the world from people that I was wondering, ‘How did you find me? How do you know me?’ I was getting prayers, I was getting love,” she said on The Steve Harvey Morning Show Friday.
“And I want people to know this, I believe that God was telling me, ‘I have a plan for you. I am about to pour down a blessing upon you,'” she added. “‘I just need to know, are you ready because you will face this again?'”
She continued, “I just wanted to be a better example for people that are working just a regular old job, that had to compose themselves.”
“We are the only race of people that carry the race wherever we go, and we’re responsible for that,” The Talk co-host said. “And I want to thank everybody all over the world in social media, everybody in radio, television, news, everywhere, everybody that reached out.”
Underwood also discussed the conversation she had with Osbourne on her podcast, The World According to Sheryl, telling listeners she kept her composure because she considers Osbourne a “friend.”
“I thought we were having a conversation like we normally do. But then I got a feeling that, wait a minute, this ain’t what it usually is,” she said. “I also got another feeling of, okay, Sheryl, this is time for you to step up into the leadership position … this is time for you to show what you’re made of, and in a personal way. No matter what somebody says about you, I can show you something better than I can tell you.”
She later told the Los Angeles Times that she is focused on forgiving Osbourne, adding that she was feeling full “spiritual nourishment.”
“My mantra, my way of thinking, is always forgiveness first and right beside that is apology,” she said. “Those two things go together. I don’t know what’s in Sharon’s heart. I don’t know what she’s feeling. The only feelings I can control … are my own.”
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Over the past week, Osbourne has faced various other accusations of racism, homophobia and bullying on the set of The Talk.
On Tuesday, journalist Yashar Ali published a report alleging that Osbourne referred to her former The Talk co-host Julie Chen as “wonton” and “slanty eyes,” citing multiple unnamed sources, including another former The Talk co-host, Leah Remini.
Ali’s Tuesday report further claimed that Osbourne referred to former co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who is lesbian, as “p—- licker” and “fish eater.”
The week prior, Holly Robinson Peete, who exited the daytime talk show in 2011 following its first season, claimed that Osbourne had complained she was “too ‘ghetto,'” and alleged that it played a role in her departure.
Osbourne has denied all of the allegations.