Weeks following the airing of Oprah's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the dramatic consequences are still being felt. After Piers Morgan questioned the details of Meghan Markle's account of how the Royal "institution" dismissed her mental health concerns, the pushback was so swift and fierce that Morgan resigned from ITV's "Good Morning Britain in a matter of days after the interview. It's just now being announced, though, that Sharon Osbourne who dared to defend Morgan over Twitter, is leaving CBS' "The Talk." The network also aired the Oprah interview.
Osbourne tweeted her simple one-sentence defense of Morgan on Tuesday, which became the subject of a chaotic segment on Wednesday's episode of "The Talk," where she is a co-host.
. @piersmorgan I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 9, 2021
During the segment, Osbourne was subject to an onslaught of questions from co-host Sheryl Underwood, including about racism.
Osbourne said that she felt "blindsided" and called it "the biggest set-up ever."
In the days after the exchange, Osbourne tweeted a reflection on racism and a formal apology of sorts; a very different tone from her previous tweets. She has not tweeted since that apology from March 12.
"The Talk" was placed on hiatus as CBS did an internal review. On March 26, CBS confirmed that Osbourne would no longer be a co-host for the show. As Variety reported:
“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave ‘The Talk,'” CBS said in a statement. “The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home. As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.
“At the same time, we acknowledge the Network and Studio teams, as well as the showrunners, are accountable for what happened during that broadcast as it was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race,” the statement went on. “During this week’s hiatus, we are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew. Going forward, we are identifying plans to enhance the producing staff and producing procedures to better serve the hosts, the production and, ultimately, our viewers.”
The statement does not acknowledge the difficult position Osbourne was in in having to defend herself. Morgan, however, certainly took notice, in a column for the Daily Mail.
If any journalist in the world feels comfortable with this, they should be in a different profession. ?? https://t.co/QxTdSpV8wm— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 27, 2021
What’s happened to ?@MrsSOsbourne? is an absolute disgrace that shames CBS. Bullied out of her job for defending me against an invented slur of racism because I don’t believe a liar. In tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday, I’ll tell MY truth about this woke cancel culture bulls*t. pic.twitter.com/9m4QPEkmD3— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 27, 2021
Morgan referenced Osbourne leaving the show, pointing out that she was "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 that Meghan is "just one of many whiny, privileged, hypocritical celebrities who now cynically exploit victimhood to suppress free speech, value their own version of the truth above the actual truth, and seek to cancel anyone that deviates from their woke world view or who dares to challenge the veracity of their inflammatory statements."
His closing warned against cancel culture, clarifying though that "I'm not a victim and I haven't been canceled... 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."