EXECUTIVES are divided over Sharon Osbourne’s future on The Talk, as some feel she “should be fired” for her fight with Sheryl Underwood, while others believe the show “needs her to survive,” The Sun can exclusively reveal.
Sharon, 68, fought with her co-star Sheryl, 57, on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk while defending her friend Piers Morgan over his intense criticism of Meghan Markle.
The Talk is now "under internal review” with the network issuing a statement that they are "committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace,” as the show is on a hiatus until Wednesday.
A source exclusively told The Sun executives and staff are “divided” over Sharon’s future on the talk show.
The insider said: “Some execs want Sharon gone. Some higher execs have argued that the show cannot survive without Sharon since she is the only known star.”
The source continued: “Some staff think Mrs. O needs to resign because the bad press is hurting the show and is impossible to recover from with Holly [Robinson Peete] speaking out and old clips surfacing.
“Others think Sharon is the only reason people watch the show. The other hosts are relative unknowns.”
As for Sharon’s co-hosts Carrie Ann Inaba and Amanda Kloots: “Carrie Ann is a peacemaker and diplomatic and would prefer everyone resolve their issues and keep the show as is.
“Amanda just wants everyone to get along."
Overall, staff believes Sharon will “exit the show either because she’s forced to or her own choice” even though she “does not want to lose her job," the source claimed.
The insider continued to claim: “They will pay her out to buy her silence and let her spin it in a mutually approved way.
“There's a gloominess around everything. Everything just feels dark and heavy."
A rep for Sharon did not immediately respond to The Sun's request for comment.
Sharon kicked off Wednesday’s show defending her decision to stand by Piers, who quit Good Morning Britain after co-host Alex Beresford slammed him for his constant scrutiny of Prince Harry’s wife.
Sharon opened the episode: “Why is it that because I supported a longtime friend and work colleague for years, people go ‘well you must be racist because he’s racist.’
“No. I support his freedom of speech. I’m not racist and neither is Piers racist. What have I ever said about anybody that’s racist? It’s not within me. It’s not in my soul.”
Sheryl disagreed with Sharon’s comments, as she claimed Piers showed “racial implications with the way he spoke about Meghan” last time he appeared on their talk show.
Sheryl continued to explain: “It’s not the exact words of racism it’s the implication and the reaction to it. To not want to address that because she is a Black woman and to try to dismiss it, that’s what makes it racist.
“But right now I’m talking to a woman that is my friend and I don’t want anybody here to watch this and say we’re attacking you for being racist.”
An emotional Sharon then rolled her eyes before quipping: “I think it’s too late. I think that seed’s already sewn.”
On Thursday’s episode, Sharon and Sheryl did not issue any apologies.
A source told The Sun both sides “refused to apologize,” though Sharon did issue an apology on her Instagram page.
The insider previously claimed: “Sheryl and Elaine did not want to look weak to the black community who think they went out of their way to educate Sharon. Sharon does not trust that Sheryl and Elaine wouldn’t bury her further on air.
“She does not want to apologize when she feels she was attacked on air for supporting a friend. It was an impasse and there is still tension you can cut with a knife.”
The source continued to claim: “The damage is done. Mrs. O will never forgive Sheryl for ambushing her with that question and seeming to paint her out to be racist on live television. That bridge is forever burned.
“Mrs. O left the set sobbing yesterday so hurt by what transpired.”
The Sun also reported the two “can never share the same stage again.”
The insider previously added: “They may pay off Sharon the rest of her $5 million dollar contract and be done after she called out the network for making producers ambush her. But also possible she will not be let go.”
Sharon opened up to Variety about the spat, as she "blamed the network."
She said: "I was blindsided, totally blindsided by the whole situation. In my 11 years, this was the first time I was not involved with the planning of the segment.”
According to Sharon, she was only informed that there would be a focus on Piers a few minutes before the now infamous episode.
She claimed: “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.
"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.”
Sharon then claimed she “begged them to stop, to please change subjects.”
She added: "I’m a big girl. I’m a professional. 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.”
Paige Six reported that Elaine, 34, and her hairstylist complained to HR about the alleged “racially insensitive and hostile environment” on the show after the heated exchange.
Former co-host Holly Robinson Peete recently came forward and claimed Ozzy Osbourne's wife called her "too ghetto" and had her fired from The Talk.
Holly, 56, took to Twitter after the on-air fight and wrote: "I’m old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too 'ghetto' for #theTalk…then I was gone.
"I bring this up now bc I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took w/her co host who remained calm & respectful because…she HAD to.”
Sharon then defended herself by posting an email from Holly, who was on The Talk for one season in 2010, on Instagram.
She captioned the email: "In response to @hollyrpeete Holly Robinson Peete’s accusation of me getting her fired from @thetalkcbs and saying she was ‘too ghetto’ to be on The Talk.
“I never once uttered those words and I am sharing an email sent to me from Holly one month after she was let go by CBS. As I have stated before, I have never had the ability/authority to get anyone fired from @thetalkcbs and Ms. Peete’s email speaks for itself.”
In the alleged email from Holly, dated September 19, 2011, the actress and talk show host appeared to be on good terms.
As for fans, they too are torn over if Sharon should be let go from the CBS show.
One said in defense of Sharon in The Talk's Facebook page: "Sharon was in her right to support her friend. And, you can hate someone on something other than race, it is possible."
Another wrote: "Hiatus, are you kidding me? People should be allowed to express their opinions. The attack on Sharon was ridiculous!"
But others sided with Sheryl and Elaine, as one commented: "Sharon was out of control period. Had that been any other host on that show, they would’ve been let go immediately. No investigation is needed. She was wrong and she should apologize…"
Another said: "I loved this show, but not watching until Sharon gives Sheryl a proper apology for her disrespectful actions."
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