CBS daytime talk show The Talk is taking a hiatus. The show is breaking in order to review a tense exchange from a March 10 episode in which Sharon Osbourne fiercely defended her friend and fellow former America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan after his controversial comments about Meghan Markle.
Morgan who is as Sharon describes a staunch "royalist" came under fire for comments he made on Good Morning Britain about Markle's interview with Oprah. in which she spoke about her mental health struggles, including suicidal thoughts. Morgan slammed the former Suits star, saying, "I wouldn't believe her if she read me a weather report, and the fact that she's fired up this onslaught against our royal family, I think is contemptible."
"I am with you. I stand by you," she wrote. "People forget that you're paid for your opinion and that you're just speaking your truth."
Sharon was quizzed about her comments on daytime show "The Talk" the following day, insisting she didn't "agree with what he said," but was instead standing up for Morgan's "freedom of speech".
Sharon subsequently apologized to anyone who felt offended by her remarks, making it clear she doesn't "condone racism, misogyny or bullying", adding via Twitter, "I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn't make that clear distinction."
Sharon is holding CBS network bosses accountable
"I blame the network for it," she told Variety. "I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years [on 'The Talk'], this was the first time I was not involved with the planning of the segment."
"I get on there, I say my piece and Sheryl turns around straight-faced, looks at me and is reading from a card with questions," she explained.
"I was just so hurt, caught off guard and stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared. I was honestly in shock. I felt like I was in front of a firing squad. I felt like a lamb held out for slaughter... They had me there for 20 minutes."
"I'm a big girl. I'm a professional," she said. "However CBS blindsided me. I don't know why they did it to me. The showrunners told me it came from executives to do this to me."
A representative for CBS has declined to respond to Sharon's Variety comments, but on Friday, officials announced plans to conduct an "internal review" of the incident.