Sharon Osbourne was left in tears as she tried to defend Piers Morgan on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk.
The 68-year-old got into a heated discussion with her co-hosts, as they discussed her decision to support Piers after he made controversial comments about Meghan Markle on Good Morning Britain this week.
The broadcaster’s comments received over 40,000 Ofcom complaints, and he’s since decided to leave the programme.
After Piers’ decision to quit GMB hit headlines, Sharon tweeted: “@piersmorgan I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.”
Speaking on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk, Sharon said she’s been accused of being racist for supporting Piers.
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…”
Piers announced his departure from Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, after ITV received a formal complaint from the Duchess of Sussex, over comments he made about her interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On Monday’s episode of GMB, Piers and his co-hosts were discussing Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah when he said: “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says… I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.”
The 55-year-old was widely criticised for his comments, as Meghan opened up about her mental health in the interview, and admitted she felt suicidal during her time as a senior working member of the Royal family.
Ofcom has since launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of GMB, after it received over 40,000 complaints.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson said: “We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain under our harm and offence rules.”
Piers’ departure from Good Morning Britain was announced in a statement shared by ITV on Tuesday evening.
The statement said: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
On Wednesday morning, Piers tweeted: “On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t.”
“If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions.”
On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions. pic.twitter.com/bv6zpz4Roe
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
He also shared a quote from Winston Churchill, which said: “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.”