CBS is extending The Talk‘s hiatus in order to expand its internal investigation in light of new allegations that Sharon Osbourne used racist and homophobic epithets to describe co-hosts Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert.
These allegations come in the wake of Osbourne’s heated discussion about racism with co-host Sheryl Underwood, after she challenged Osbourne’s support of friend Piers Morgan following his resignation from Good Morning Britain.
According to journalist Yashar Ali in a report he published on Substack, “multiple sources” — including former Talk co-host Leah Remini — are claiming that Osbourne used disparaging racist terms to refer to Chen, who is Chinese-American, and homophobic slurs when discussing Gilbert, who is openly gay.
Following Ali’s report, CBS issued a statement Tuesday to announce the show’s current hiatus would be extended until next week; live episodes had expected to resume on March 17.
“CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions. We’re also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on ‘The Talk.’ This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary. The show will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as we continue to review these issues,” reads the network’s statement to ET Canada.
According to Ali, the allegations against Osbourne come from 11 different sources, most of whom wouldn’t go on the record due to the fear of “career retribution.” Remini, who was fired from The Talk after just one season, did go on the record, telling Ali she “deeply regretted the role she played in not speaking out sooner.”
In response to Ali’s story, Osbourne’s publicist issued a statement.
“The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host,” it reads. “For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the U.K. and other gestures of kindness too many to name.
“Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
— With files from Global News’ Chris Jancelewicz
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