Ahead of her return to the UK to both live and work, Sharon Osbourne has given a detailed account of her abrupt departure from CBS’s The Talk last year.
When Piers Morgan notoriously voiced his disbelief in what Meghan Markle had to say about her mental health to Oprah Winfrey and faced thousands of complaints to the UK regulator Ofcom (he later left his morning show broadcaster ITV), Osbourne tweeted her support for her longtime friend.
This caused an on-air confrontation with her The Talk co-host, Sheryl Underwood, who asked Osbourne live on air if she was racist, and an altercation followed. Following their televised conflict, and CBS investigating, Osbourne apologised, writing:
“To anyone of colour that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,” she wrote in a statement. “I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over.”
She then faced further claims by colleagues of bigoted remarks, some of which she admitted, some she denied. Now she tells The Times that her card was already marked, with CBS issuing her marching orders.
“They said to me, ‘You are on permanent suspension. We don’t think that you’re repentant enough. And we will decide whether you ever come back.’ And I said, ‘Well, who’s going to make that decision?’ And they said, ‘We can’t tell you.’”
Osbourne described the trolling and death threats that followed, and also how, following a US career of more than 40 years, she realised it was time to return to her native UK.
“My phone as far as my TV career here [was concerned] was non-existent, not one call. Nothing. In England and Australia it never changed. Here it was like I was dead.”
“Everybody’s scared of saying something wrong that somebody would take and sell. It’s no way to bloody live. I don’t want it. I don’t need it. It’s just our time to go home.”
Osbourne will join her pal Morgan on TalkTV, the brand new television channel being launched this week, and built on the hopes that Morgan’s strong opinions will find a global audience with his primetime talk show being aired in the US and Australia, as well as the UK.
Osbourne’s panel show will follow, with its strapline ‘Straight Talking Starts Here’. Its presenter claims there will be no holding back by her or her star guests.
“You say what you feel and you’re not following one party at all. I don’t trust anybody. I just don’t think anybody’s there for the right reason.”
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