Sharon Osbourne is opening up about her ousting from “The Talk” after an explosive on-air argument about racism ensued between her and her co-hosts.
In the four-part docuseries “Sharon Osbourne: To Hell & Back,” now airing on Fox Nation, Osbourne breaks down her side of the heated on-air exchange between her and co-hosts Sheryl Underwood and Elaine Welteroth that preceded his departure.
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for CBS, Underwood and Welteroth for comment.
“I wanted to look into the camera and say ‘(expletive) you, (expletive) you, (expletive) you, (expletive) you, and CBS takes that and walks away,’ Osbourne said, waving his middle finger. But I couldn’t do that. Can you imagine if I would have done that, what it would have done? It would have been suicidal for me to do that, but that was what was in me. And honestly, I meant, “CBS come on (expletive) yourselves.” “
Here are highlights from the fiery docuseries.
Sharon Osbourne says Piers Morgan ‘isn’t racist’
In March 2021, Osbourne slammed “The Talk” for defending his former “America’s Got Talent” co-judge Piers Morgan, a British journalist deemed racist by many at the time for criticizing Oprah Winfrey’s tell-all interview with Duchess Megan and Prince Harry.
Morgan drew a flood of complaints when he said on ‘Good Morning Britain’ that he ‘didn’t believe a word’, Megan said, including his allegations of racism as a senior family member royal.
“I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report,” Morgan added.
Osbourne said she was falsely portrayed by her “Talk” co-hosts as a racist for standing up for Morgan’s right to free speech.
“Piers is not racist, has never written anything racist, has never said anything racist,” she said. “He was called a racist, and because I supported him, I was called a racist,” she said.
During the on-air chat, Osbourne said she was “about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend that a lot of people think is a racist and that makes me a racist. “.
When Underwood, who is black, asked what Osbourne would say to people who think it’s racist to defend someone making Morgan’s comments, Osbourne said: “How could I be racist towards someone? How could I be racist towards anyone or anything in my life? How can I?”
Underwood said the swap left her “traumatized” and “frightened”, and the show was put on hiatus for a month while CBS conducted an internal review of Osbourne. The network determined that the event “did not align” with its “values for a respectful workplace”, and Osbourne left that month.
Sharon Osbourne Calls Out ‘The Talk’ Showrunners ‘Weak women’ after fallout from racism controversy
Carrie Ann Inaba calls Sharon Osbourne’s treatment ‘unacceptable’
Carrie Ann Inaba, co-host of “The Talk” from 2017 to 2021, recalled in the docuseries watching the argument unfold on TV while recovering from COVID at home.
“It was unfathomable, unfathomable that this happened on ‘The Talk’. ‘The Talk’ was not meant to be a place where we create discomfort in our audience or each other. It was supposed to be a safe place,” Inaba said. “What happened is unacceptable.”
She added that “no one should have ever gone through what (Osbourne) went through that day.”
“I was traumatized even though I wasn’t there,” she continued.
Sharon Osbourne speaks out after her exit ‘The Talk’ in a racial controversy: ‘I’m angry. I am hurt.’
Sharon Osbourne says CBS executive ‘couldn’t stand’ Morgan’s defense
After the episode, Osbourne said she demanded a meeting with showrunners Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews, whom Underwood also joined. Gray died at age 50 in July following an illness.
“They put us all in an office. I was like, ‘If you just want me out, (expletive) tell me: Who told you to do this to me?’ And Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews were crying, and Sheryl rocking back and forth still crying,” Osbourne said. “I’m like, ‘Why are you crying? You all did this to me. Why did you do this? Who told you to do this?’ “
Osbourne said the showrunners revealed that Amy Reisenbach, who oversees CBS’ daytime programming, called in the segment.
Osbourne believes Reisenbach did this in retaliation for Osbourne supporting the criticism of Winfrey’s interview, which aired on CBS.
“And you know why I think they did? They were pissed off at Piers that the jewel in their little plastic crown – Oprah, Megan and Harry – was being criticized,” she said. “I worked for CBS and I supported Piers, and they couldn’t take it. They couldn’t take it.”
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Elaine Welteroth overheard Sharon Osbourne say ‘I don’t think you’re a racist’
Shortly after the episode, Osbourne said that Welteroth walked into her dressing room and revealed that the showrunners initially asked her to confront Osbourne about racism. When Welterother refused, she said Underwood, who Osbourne considered a close friend at the time, agreed to do it.
“I don’t think you’re a racist,” Welteroth can be heard telling Osbourne during a recording from a hot mic obtained by the Daily Mail and shared in the documentary. “No one who knows you would ever say that or think that.”
Welteroth continued, “Sheryl and I are held to a different standard by black people and people of color out there, who expect us to say something about anything racist, and that puts us in a position so (unfortunately) that even if we don’t have the information, if we don’t even really care, if we don’t even really want to engage, it’s like a spotlight is shone on us.”
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Sharon Osbourne Says CBS Called Her ‘Not Repentant Enough’ During Inquiry
As “The Talk” went on hiatus, CBS conducted an internal investigation into Osbourne, during which the TV personality said she was accused of being unrepentant.
“They told me at one point, ‘You’re not repentant enough, and we don’t think you can repent for what you’ve done,'” Osbourne said. “I’m like, ‘What is this? I’m in (expletive) church? Don’t tell me when I’m repenting or not.’ “
Osbourne described herself as “that lamb that was slaughtered that morning”.
“I had this anger in me for CBS,” she continued. “You planted the seed, now I have to live with it. Because once you plant the seed that someone is racist, whether you are or not, that lives with you.”
‘The Talk’ returns: Sheryl Underwood Discusses Sharon Osbourne’s ‘Trauma’ in ‘Race and Healing’ Episode
What else has Sharon Osbourne said since ‘The Talk’?
Since his exit, Osbourne has repeatedly expressed his anger at his ousting. In an interview with Megyn Kelly in October 2021, Osbourne said her longtime friends Gray and Matthews quickly turned on her after the episode.
“Weak, weak women who didn’t have the spine to turn around and say, ‘This is suicidal. We can’t do that,'” Osbourne told Kelly. “And to drop out after the break, so it was 20 minutes on national television bashing me. Twenty minutes… They just – it blindsided me.”
In the first episode after the controversy, Underwood reflected on the trade.
“I knew I had to be an example for others to follow because I didn’t want to be seen as the angry black woman,” Underwood told viewers. “It’s hard to go back to that day because I just feel the trauma. I’m scared, a little apprehensive.”
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Contributor: Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; Associated Press