The Talk: Sharon Osbourne Refutes Apology Claim; Posts Text Messages

A little less than two weeks after CBS wrapped up its investigation into an on-air exchange between The Talk host Sharon Osbourne and co-host Sheryl Underwood over the Piers Morgan/ Meghan Markle controversy, as well as accusations of inappropriate language towards previous co-hosts Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert, things still aren't calm and quiet over at the daytime talk show. With the series expected to return to screens the week of April 12, the war of words between Underwood and Osbourne has now turned into who has the most receipts to show. In response to Underwood's accusations during the three-part Sharon Walks Away podcast that she never reached out to Underwood to apologize and that the two haven't spoken since the incident, Osbourne has shared screenshots of text messages she apparently sent to Underwood on March 12, March 15, and March 18 via The Daily Mail.

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Image: Screencap

In the first text that was sent on March 12, Osbourne wrote, "Sheryl, My heart is heavy and I'm deeply saddened by the events that transpired on Wednesday. I don't want to lose my true friend over this. Im sorry for telling you to f— off during the break, I'm sorry for accusing you [of] fake crying while we were live on air and I'm sorry for losing my temper with you. I felt shocked, scared and saddened by what felt like was a [blindsided] attack." The text continued, "You know me. You know how I've always had your back. We've outlasted everyone on this show and that's because we've always been a team and had each other backs. I consider you a genuine friend. If you want to talk on the phone over the weekend I'm here. Once again from the bottom of my heart I'm sorry. Is there anything You need from me or that I can do to help you heal? Love and respect always – Sharon." Sent two days after the first text message was sent, a second text read, "I know you're taking space and I don't want to disrespect that. I'm just reaching out because I want you to know I'm thinking about you. If you are willing, can we talk before Wednesday? Big kiss."

During the Wednesday, March 10, episode of the daytime talk show, Osbourne became defensive and pushed back on how her defense of Morgan following his comments about Markle was being portrayed. Co-host Underwood responded by saying 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 challenged Underwood's claim, asking for specifics. "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," Osbourne argued.

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Image: Screencap

On the following Tuesday, writer Yashar Ali reported that new allegations had come to light from various sources, including that Osbourn "would frequently refer to then-co-host Chen, who is Chinese American, as 'wonton' and 'slanty eyes,' according to multiple sources, including former co-host Remini" and that she "referred to former co-host and executive producer Gilbert, who is a lesbian, as 'pu**y licker' and 'fish eater,' according to multiple sources including Remini."

The network would issue the following statement later that day: "CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions. We're also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on The Talk. This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary. The show will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as we continue to review these issues." On the Wednesday following, Osbourne sat for an interview with ET to offer her side of the controversy- a move made by the ex-talk show that many feel did more harm than help her cause.

Then at the end of March, the network released an official statement following an investigation into the matter as well as confirmation that Osbourne had made the decision to depart the series. "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," the statement read. "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. 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."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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