“The Talk” is extending its hiatus as Sharon Osbourne faces accusations of offensive language toward former co-hosts, including Julie Chen. Multiple sources claimed that the British American personality frequently referred to Chen as “wonton” and “slanty eyes” in the past, according to an article published Tuesday by journalist Yashar Ali.
Those sources reportedly included former co-host Leah Remini, who also alleged that Osbourne called former co-host Sara Gilbert a “p*ssy licker” and “fish eater.”
“The Talk” launched in 2010 with Osbourne, Chen, Gilbert, Remini and Holly Robinson Peete as co-hosts.
Aside from referring to Chen — who is Chinese American — with racial slurs, Osbourne allegedly objected to her having any leadership role on the show. She also reportedly tried to rally Remini and Robinson Peete to marginalize Chen.
“I mean, who the f*ck does slanty eyes think she is? She shouldn’t be pillow-talking with our boss,” Osbourne said once, according to Remini.
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Chen left “The Talk” in September 2018. Only Osbourne remains of the original co-hosts.
Osbourne’s publicist Howard Bragman denied the allegations — among others cited in the article — in a statement to Ali.
“The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. 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 UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name,” Bragman said.
“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.”
The allegations come after a controversial March 10 episode of “The Talk,” which forced the show into a hiatus. In it, Osbourne defended comments by British personality Piers Morgan about Meghan Markle, and subsequently worried that she might be called racist for doing so.
As the segment went on, Osbourne became louder and often spoke over African American co-host Sheryl Underwood. Social media users then criticized her behavior.
In a statement on March 12, Osbourne apologized for her actions and explained that she only felt “panicked.”
“I have always been embraced with so much love and support from the Black community and I have deep respect and love for the Black community. To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,” she wrote.
“I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive [and] allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over.”
“The Talk” returns at CBS on March 23. The network issued a statement to Variety:
“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.”
Feature Image via @juliechenmoonves (left, right)