An 'Angry' and 'Hurt' Sharon Osbourne Tells Bill Maher 'I've Been Called Many Things, But a Racist I Will Not Take'

In her first interview since her incendiary Talk ouster, Sharon Osbourne told Bill Maher on Friday’s Real Time that the controversy has left her “angry” and “hurt.”

Osbourne went on to lament, “I’ve been called so many things in my life, I am so used to being called names, but a ‘racist’ is one I will not take.” (Watch the exchange below.)

Osbourne’s one-on-one with Maher came four days after The Talk returned to CBS’ airwaves (sans Osbourne) after a month-long, controversy-filled hiatus. Addressing viewers directly at the top of Monday’s first show back, Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood confirmed the show’s casting shake-up, before presiding over an hour-long discussion about the March 10 episode that led to Osbourne’s departure.

In that now-infamous episode, the hosting panel had been discussing whether British TV personality Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle were racist. Osbourne was very vocal, both in her defense of Morgan and in her apparent worry that she would be considered racist for offering her support. At several points in the heated conversation, Osbourne spoke over Underwood, which led to social media posts criticizing Osbourne’s behavior.

Osbourne posted a public apology the next day, tweeting that she felt “panicked” and “blindsided” that people might think she was racist, so she “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.”

Following an internal review of the incident, CBS announced on March 26 that Osbourne “has decided to leave The Talk,” adding that Osbourne’s behavior “toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”

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