Broadcast journalist Piers Morgan is defending his friend Sharon Osbourne, who was fired as co-host from CBS’ "The Talk" after a heated discussion about racism.
The controversy began when Osbourne said she stood by Morgan, who made contentious comments about Meghan Markle following her tell-all interview about the royal family with Oprah Winfrey. Last week CBS announced that Osbourne would no longer appear on the daytime talk show -- a decision which Morgan was strongly against.
"It’s outrageous, but what’s happened to Sharon and me in the past fortnight isn’t really about Ms. Markle," he wrote in a column for The Daily Mail on Saturday.
"She’s just one of many whiny, privileged, hypocritical celebrities who now cynically exploit victimhood to suppress free speech, value their own version of the truth above the actual truth, and seek to cancel anyone that deviates from their woke world view or who dares to challenge the veracity of their inflammatory statements."
"The Talk" has been on hiatus since Osbourne clashed with co-host Cheryl Underwood. During the conversation, Underwood asked Osbourne, "what would you say to people who may feel that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?"
Osbourne responded by saying that "I feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair, because I have a friend who many people think is racist, so that makes me a racist."
In a statement, CBS said it found what had unfolded on-air "upsetting to everyone involved," including its viewers.
"As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts," the statement read, according to Deadline.
The network said it had been coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about "equity, inclusion and cultural awareness" for all its staffers.
"Going forward, we are identifying plans to enhance the producing staff and producing procedures to better serve the hosts, the production and, ultimately, our viewers," the statement added.
Morgan, meanwhile, quit "Good Morning Britain" earlier this month following his inflammatory marks about Markle. During the interview with Winfrey, the Duchess of Sussex admitted she did not want to "be alive anymore" after struggling to fit into the monarchy. She also admitted she faced racist attitudes from Buckingham Palace. During a discussion about Markle's revelations on "Good Morning Britain," Morgan said he did not "believe a word she said."
"I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report," he continued, further adding that she had sparked an "onslaught" against the royal family.
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