The repercussions from Wednesday’s edition of “The Talk” continue to be felt, with CBS announcing plans to undertake an “internal review” in the wake of the heated discussion that took place between co-hosts Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne about racism.
ET Canada has learned that the show is taking a hiatus for a couple of days while matters from the episode continue to be reviewed.
Live shows for Monday, March 15, and Tuesday, March 16, have been cancelled, with episodes slated to return on Wednesday, March 17.
The controversy began when Osbourne tweeted her support of Piers Morgan, who walked off “Good Morning Britain” before quitting the show entirely after his co-host pointed out the racist elements in his attacks on Meghan Markle following her and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On “The Talk”, Underwood confronted Osbourne about her support of Morgan, pointing out that “while you are standing by your friend, it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist.”
Osbourne responded by telling Underwood, “I feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is racist, so that makes me a racist… I will ask you again Sheryl… and don’t try and cry because if anyone should be crying, it should be me. This is the situation, you tell me where you have heard him say racist things. Educate me.”
Underwood then pointed out it wasn’t Morgan’s “exact words of racism” but “the implication and the reaction to it.”
According to Deadline, a “closed-door meeting” of the show’s hosts reportedly took place after the show finished taping.
On Friday night, CBS issued a statement to announce the network’s response.
“We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace,” reads the CBS statement. “All matters related to the Wednesday episode of ‘The Talk’ are currently under internal review.”
Following the contentious episode, Osbourne issued a statement via Twitter, admitting she is “still learning” and “will continue to learn, listen and do better.”
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 12, 2021
Osbourne took issue with CBS, blaming network execs for engineering the entire situation.
“I blame the network for it,” Osbourne told Variety. “I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years, this was the first time I was not involved with planning the segment.”
According to Osbourne, minutes before Wednesday’s show, showrunners asked if she was okay with being asked about Morgan. “I said, ‘Sure, they can ask me whatever.’ But then I get on there, I say my piece and Sheryl [Underwood] turns around straight-faced, looks at me and is reading from a card with questions. I was just so hurt, caught off guard and stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared. I was honestly in shock. I felt like I was in front of a firing squad. I felt like a lamb held out for slaughter… They had me there for 20 minutes.”
When they broke for a commercial, Osbourne told Variety that she “begged them to stop, to please change subjects.”
Added Osbourne: “I’m a big girl. I’m a professional. However CBS blindsided me. I don’t know why they did it to me. The showrunners told me it came from executives to do this to me.”