Speaking out. Piers Morgan stood by Sharon Osbourne following her exit from The Talk. CBS announced on Friday, March 26, that Osbourne, 68, would not return to the talk show following her controversial comments, which began with her defending 55-year-old Morgan.
“What’s happened to @MrsSOsbourne is an absolute disgrace that shames CBS,” the former Good Morning Britain host tweeted on Saturday, March 27. “Bullied out of her job for defending me against an invented slur of racism because I don’t believe a liar.”
The controversy began on March 10 when the Extreme author got into a heated debate with cohost Sheryl Underwood after defending Morgan’s negative — and seemingly racist — comments about Meghan Markle following her tell-all that aired on March 7. During the CBS interview, the former actress, 39, claimed that she experienced years of racism from the British press and said that someone in the royal family wondered how dark baby Archie’s skin would be. Morgan questioned how much of her allegations were true.
Osbourne later apologized but said she “felt blindsided” by the conversation with Underwood, 57. The network then announced a temporary hiatus and launched an internal review.
During that review, former Talk cohost Leah Remini claimed she had witnessed Osbourne make both racist and homophobic comments in the past when speaking about colleagues Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert. The X Factor alum disputed the allegations, with her publicist claiming Remini, 50, is just a “disgruntled former talk show host.”
On March 16, the former America’s Got Talent judge told Entertainment Tonight that she had apologized to Underwood.
“I am not a racist and if you can’t have a go at your friend who happens to be Black, does that make me racist because I said certain things to my friend, but I said them on camera?” she said at the time. “I will keep on apologizing to Sheryl, even if I decide not to go back, I will still keep apologizing to Sheryl.”
Morgan, for his part, opened up further about the exit in a blog for the Daily Mail on Sunday, March 28.
“Sharon Osbourne’s quit The Talk, driven out for the crime of defending me, a friend she knows isn’t racist, from a co-worker saying I’m racist simply because I disbelieve Meghan Markle,” he wrote in part. “It’s outrageous, but what’s happened to Sharon and me in the past fortnight isn’t really about Ms Markle. … [It’s about] everyone’s right to be free to express our honestly held opinions, forcefully and passionately if we feel like it.”
He added, “To be clear: I’m not a victim and I haven’t been cancelled. In fact, in many ways this has been one of the most exciting and affirmative periods of my life. But if our rights to free speech are denied, then democracy as we know it will die. It’s time to cancel the cancel culture before it kills our culture.”