Sharon Osbourne has claimed she was ‘blindsided’ by American TV network CBS by the recent discussion she shared with Sheryl Underwood about Piers Morgan on The Talk.
Earlier this week, Sharon, 68, got into a heated exchange with fellow TV host Sheryl, 57, when the pair spoke on The Talk about the announcement that Piers, 55, had quit Good Morning Britain following backlash to his comments on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The former X Factor judge became increasingly emotional as she backed Piers, shouting down Sheryl 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?’
Amid the news that an internal review has been launched into Sharon and Sheryl’s row, Sharon has said in an interview that she felt that she was ‘blindsided by the whole situation’.
The TV personality said that this was ‘the first time’ she had not been ‘involved’ in planning a segment in over a decade on the show.
‘I blame the network for it,’ she told Variety. ‘I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years, this was the first time I was not involved with the planning [of] the segment.’
According to the publication, Sharon was asked around eight minutes before Wednesday’s show whether it was alright if she was asked about Piers.
‘I said, “Sure, they can ask me whatever.” But then 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 stated.
Sharon said she felt ‘so hurt, caught off guard and stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared’, adding that she 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,’ she said.
Sharon claimed that she ‘begged’ for the subject to be changed during the commercial break, adding that she was told by The Talk’s showrunners that ‘it came from executives to do this to me’.
A representative for CBS pointed Variety to a statement released on Friday, which stated: ‘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.’
Following the backlash she experienced, Sharon issued an apology on social media, in which she apologised for offending the Black community with her remarks.
‘I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the black community & I have deep respect & love for the black community. To anyone of colour that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,’ she said.