Sharon Osbourne alleges CBS executives apparently ordered “The Talk” producers to have her co-hosts “blindside” her with questions about her controversial tweet defending Piers Morgan.
“I blame the network for it,” Osbourne told Variety on Friday night. “I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years, this was the first time I was not involved with planning the segment.”
Osbourne says about eight minutes before the show began on Wednesday, showrunners called and ask her if it was OK if they asked about Morgan.
“I said, ‘Sure, they can ask me whatever.’ But then I get on there, I say my piece and Sheryl (Underwood) turns around straight-faced, looks at me and is reading from a card with questions,” she said. “I was just so hurt, caught off guard and stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared. I 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.”
When they went to break, Osbourne says she “begged them to stop, to please change subjects.”
Her heated exchange with Underwood went viral.
“I’m a big girl. I’m a professional,” she said. “However CBS blindsided me. I don’t know why they did it to me. The showrunners told me it came from executives to do this to me.”
A rep for CBS declined to comment on Osbourne’s latest remarks, but referred Variety to the network’s statement released on Friday afternoon: “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.”
Osbourne issued an apology on Twitter following her heated discussion with Underwood.
“After some reflection, after sitting with your comments and sitting with my heart I would like to address the discussion on ‘The Talk’ this past Wednesday. 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 tweeted. “I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over. There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast! I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us and will continue to learn, listen and do better.”
She told Variety on Friday: “I’m a work in progress. I want to learn I’m willing to learn.”
“I want to make this world a better place, but I don’t like being put in a situation I’m not prepared for and fired questions at me. I felt like I was on a witness stand with two prosecutors on either side of me. You want to ask me questions? I’m a team player. Let me know what the questions are so I can prepare. I’m an open book to everyone.”
Osbourne’s latest remarks come just hours after former “The Talk” co-host Holly Robinson Peete tweeted, “I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too ‘ghetto’ for #theTalk…then I was gone.”
“It’s an absolute lie—a 110 percent lie,” Osbourne told Variety. “I cannot have anyone fired…And that is a not a term I use. That’s not in my vocabulary. I don’t speak like that. The only ghetto I know is the Warsaw Ghetto and I think that’s the only time I’ve ever referred to something like that.”