Sharon Osbourne has addressed her exit from The Talk in her first TV interview since quitting the show.
The 68-year-old announced her departure from the programme last month, after she got into a heated discussion with her co-hosts, which was investigated by CBS.
During the episode, which aired on March 10, Sharon discussed her decision to support Piers Morgan after he made controversial comments about Meghan Markle on Good Morning Britain.
On Friday night, Sharon appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, where she addressed the entire situation.
When Bill asked how she’s feeling, the TV personality replied: “I’m angry, I’m hurt.”
“I’ve been called so many things in my life… but a racist is one thing I will not take.”
Despite the drama surrounding her exit from the show, Sharon insisted: “I’m a fighter. I’m doing just fine.”
“But what about the people who were cut from the knees down and they can’t afford to go get lessons about what’s politically correct and how to talk to people?”
“What happens to them? It’s not fair because it isn’t about being a racist. It’s about maybe not knowing about what is correct and woke for your language that day, cause it changes from day to day- what is correct and what isn’t.”
Defending her decision to support Piers after he harshly criticised Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, Sharon said: “She is entitled to her opinion, Piers is entitled to his and that’s what it’s all about.”
“You’re entitled to have a disagreement (and) discuss it in a normal way… But disagreeing with somebody does not make you a racist in my book.”
During the March 10 episode of The Talk, Sharon got visibly upset as she tried to defend Piers during a debate about Meghan Markle.
Defending her decision to support him, she said: “Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No. Because it’s his opinion. It’s not my opinion… I support him for his freedom of speech, and he’s my friend.”
“I’m not racist…I don’t care what color or what religion anyone is. Are you a nice person? That’s what I judge you on.”
Sharon’s co-host Sheryl Underwood then asked: “What would you say to people who may feel that while you’re standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?”
The 68-year-old appeared visibly upset, as she said: “I very much feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend, who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist? What does it gotta do with me?”
The show then cut to a commercial break, but their debate continued when they returned.
Sharon said: “I will ask you again Sheryl, I’ve been asking you during the break and I’m asking you again, and don’t try and cry cos if anyone should be crying it should be me.”
The TV personality asked Sheryl to “educate” her, and said: “Tell me when you have heard him say racist things.”
Sheryl then explained: “It was not the exact words of racism, it’s the implications and reaction to it. To not want to address that she is a Black woman and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is, that’s what makes it racist.”
“Right now, I’m talking to a woman who I believe is my friend and I don’t want anybody here to watch this and say that we’re attacking you for being racist.”
Sharon replied: “It’s too late. I think that seed’s already sowed…”
Following an internal investigation, CBS confirmed Sharon’s departure from the show on March 26.
In a statement, they said: “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.
“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 statement continued.
“During this week’s hiatus, we are 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.”