The on-air blow up came in the aftermath of the interview Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had with Oprah, in which the Duchess of Sussex revealed her troubling experience during her time as a working member of the Royal Family. Osbourne defended former Good Morning Britain lead anchor Piers Morgan’s dismissal of Meghan Markle’s mental health struggle, and denied being racist in doing so.
During the episode, Osbourne said she felt like she was “about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend [Morgan] who many people think is a racist and that makes me a racist.” “How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?” she asked.
Underwood tried to explain in a calm manner, but Osbourne lashed out and even told Underwood “don’t try and cry,” during the confrontation.
“We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace,” CBS said in a statement first obtained by Deadline. “All matters related to the Wednesday episode of ‘The Talk’ are currently under internal review.”
The exchange was the source of a lot of backlash on social media, with many pointing out the ways Black women are treated in the workplace. Some even highlighted that this isn’t new behavior for Osbourne including former The Talk co-host, actress Holly Robinson Pete who revealed her experiences with Osbourne on Instagram and Twitter.
“I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too ‘ghetto’ for #theTalk… then I was gone…” Pete wrote in a post.
Comedian-activist Amanda Seales posted a thread about the situation, demanding the network hold Osbourne accountable for the behavior displayed on air.
“Like many white women far and wide she has been allowed 2 slide for far too long,” Seales wrote. “Her opinion is of no value, and she is a menace to the workplace…”
Underwood spoke out about the incident on Friday (March 12), thanking people for their support on The Steve Harvey Show. “I got calls from all over the world from people…” Underwood shared as reported by People. She added more about how she felt about the situation. “I just wanted to be a better example for people that are working just a regular old job, that had to compose themselves,” she said.
“We are the only race of people that carry the race wherever we go, and we’re responsible for that,” Underwood added.
Her friendship with Osbourne, Underwood revealed, was what helped her maintain her composure during the incident.
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