CBS canceled some episodes of “The Talk” show over comments that co-host Sharon Osbourne made in defense of British TV personality Piers Morgan in the wake of a controversial interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
The television network made a statement in support of diversity as it shut down Osbourne for saying things it didn’t like.
“We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of ‘The Talk’ are currently under internal review,” the statement said.
Morgan came under fire after he criticized Markle for an interview with Oprah Winfrey, where she made accusations of racial bias among members of the British royal family. Morgan quit his own show after facing fierce criticism for accusing Markle of lying in the interview about her suicidal feelings.
Osbourne faced a similar fate after she defended Morgan on the basis that he should have free speech rights to say what he thinks.
“Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No,” Osbourne said on Wednesday’s show.
“Because it’s his opinion. It’s not my opinion,” she explained. “I support him for his freedom of speech, and he’s my friend.”
Osbourne demanded to know from her co-hosts what Morgan said that was racist, and why she was being roped in with the same accusation during the contentious argument.
That was enough for CBS to pull the Monday and Tuesday episodes of the show and announce an internal investigation of the incident. The plan is to return to filming on Wednesday, Variety reported.
Osbourne later apologized for the comments, but said that she felt as if she had been ambushed about the subject that monopolized much of the show as her co-hosts questioned her friendship with Morgan.
“To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,” Osbourne said in the statement posted on Twitter. “I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over.
Morgan also commented on the Osbourne debacle and demanded an apology from those on the show who criticized him and called him a racist.
“Sharon’s been shamed & bullied into apologising for defending me against colleagues accusing me of racism because I don’t believe Meghan Markle’s bull***t,” tweeted Morgan. “This is where we’ve reached. I demand an apology from those @TheTalkCBS bullies for their disgraceful slurs against ME.”