A source told Page Six that Sharon Osbourne, co-host of the daytime show The Talk is being paid upwards of $10 million by CBS to leave the show following weeks of controversy and allegations of racism.
“Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave ‘The Talk.’ 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,” a statement from CBS said.
“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 company said.
The publication quoted an unnamed source that said, “Sharon is walking away with a $5 to $10 million minimum payout and was able to spin that it was her decision [to leave the show].”
Later in the statement, the company explained that it was "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 added.
Osbourne has been on the show for all its 11 seasons and was the longest-running co-host.
As Blavity previously reported, CBS began investigating Osbourne after she lashed out at co-host Sheryl Underwood for discussing comments she made about conservative British commentator Piers Morgan. Morgan drew accusations of racism after he spent days bashing former royal Meghan Markle on a popular British morning show. Osbourne defended Morgan on Twitter and in interviews, denying he was a racist.
Underwood respectfully brought up Osbourne's comments on the show but the 68-year-old immediately began yelling that she was being attacked and called a racist herself.
“What would you say to people who say that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you give validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?” Underwood asked.
“I feel like I’m about to be put in an electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist. Why can’t it be he just doesn’t like her? Why does it have to be racist?” Osbourne said.
Underwood said she has since spoken with Osbourne and has moved on.
But the talk around the episode led to past co-hosts of the show accusing Osbourne of making bigoted remarks toward them.
Holly Robinson Peete, an actress who served as a co-host for a year, said Osbourne called her "ghetto" and had her fired from the show. Actress Leah Remini, who said she was fired alongside Peete after the first season, accused Osbourne of making homophobic comments about the show's creator Sara Gilbert.
Remini also said Osbourne called former co-host Julie Chen "wonton" and "slanty eyes."
“I mean, who the f**k does slanty eyes think she is? She shouldn’t be pillow-talking with our boss,” Remini claimed Osbourne said, referencing Chen's relationship with disgraced CBS executive Les Moonves.
I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too “ghetto” for #theTalk…then I was gone????
I bring this up now bc I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took w/her co host who remained calm & respectful because…she HAD to????????♀️ ????????♀️#fbf
— Holly Robinson Peete???????? (@hollyrpeete) March 12, 2021
CBS was forced to start an investigation into Osbourne's conduct after current co-host and noted journalist Elaine Welteroth filed a complaint alongside her hairstylist. CBS announced that the show would be on hiatus on March 16.
Page Six reported that Osbourne hired a lawyer and was prepared to take the show and the company to court over the investigation into her statements, with one source telling the publication, "She knows where all the bodies are buried.”
The two sides began taking swipes at each other in the press. Osbourne has both disputed the accusations of racism in statements and on Twitter but in other interviews, has tacitly admitted she may have made some of the comments.
When asked about the anti-Asian comments she made toward Chen, she told the Daily Mail “Everyone’s got an opinion or a story like the wonton story. It’s like f**k off with your f**king wonton story. F**k off.”
In a statement this week, CBS said the show would be back on the air by April 12.