Sharon Osbourne’s pledge to “stand by” British TV personality Piers Morgan after his longstanding criticism of Meghan Markle this week got a heated reception from her co-hosts on “The Talk,” as well as many of the show’s viewers.
Osbourne on Wednesday fired back at accusations of racism she said she’d faced after supporting Morgan, whom she described as a longtime friend. The discussion took place days after “Good Morning Britain” announced Morgan had left the show after a series of segments in which he repeatedly blasted Meghan Markle and dismissed her accusations of racist treatment by the British royal family.
“I feel even 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,” Osbourne proclaimed on Wednesday’s episode. “How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?”
Catch part of the segment below:
The conversation took an increasingly emotional turn when co-host Sheryl Underwood, who is Black, pushed back on Osbourne’s take.
“Don’t try and cry, because if anyone should be crying, it should be me,” Osbourne told Underwood. “Educate me. Tell me when you have heard him say racist things!”
Underwood then concluded, “It is not the exact words of racism, it’s the implication and the reaction to it ― to not want to address that because [Meghan Markle] is a Black woman and to try and dismiss it or make it seem less than what it is, that’s what makes it racist.”
The conversation drew a blistering response on social media, with many angered by Osbourne’s approach.
“It is not a Black woman’s job to educate ANYBODY about racism,” actor Yvette Nicole Brown tweeted. “The education one seeks is EVERYWHERE.” Added writer and comedian Rae Sanni: “White women are something else. Your tears are weapons.”
The controversial chat took place one day after Osbourne had expressed her support for Morgan on Twitter.
“People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth,” she tweeted.
A day later, Morgan returned the praise.
“I love Sharon Osbourne because she always stays true to herself,” he tweeted. “She knew she would get abused by the woke brigade for tweeting this ― but did it anyway because it what she believes.”
Morgan has a long history of making incendiary remarks about Markle, both on the air and on social media.
The current backlash, however, stems from his dismissal of the Duchess of Sussex’s claims ― made in Sunday’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey ― that she’d contemplated suicide during her time as a working royal.
Earlier this week, the British media regulator Ofcom reported that it had received more than 41,000 complaints ― including one from Markle herself ― over Morgan’s charge.