Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood may be on a show called The Talk, but after today's episode, it seems like it should be called The Debate.
On Wednesday, March 10, the normally friendly co-hosts engaged in a heated conversation about Sharon's decision to support Piers Morgan after the British personality said he doesn't "believe" Meghan Markle was ever suicidal while working for the British royal family.
Sheryl questioned, "What would you say to people who may feel that while you're standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don't agree."
In response, Sharon explained that she's not trying to "slide out of" trouble, but genuinely doesn't understand his remarks to be racist. According to Sharon, she doesn't find it fair that just because of her friendship with Piers, she too can be accused of racism.
"I very much feel 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?" she fired back. "What does it gotta do with me?"
The 68-year-old continued, "How could I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?"
When Sheryl interrupted to cut to a commercial break, Sharon's voice trailed off into a number of censored expletives. Once the ladies returned, a tearful Sharon asked Sheryl to defend her claims against Piers, adding, "Don't try and cry because if anybody should be crying, it should be me."
Sheryl then calmly explained, "It was not the exact words of racism, it's the implications and reaction to it. To not want to address that she is a Black woman and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is, that's what makes it racist."
Sheryl shifted the subject to Sharon's reaction and explained that she and the other ladies were not accusing her of being racist. "Right now, I'm talking to a woman who I believe is my friend and I don't want anybody here to watch this and say that we're attacking you for being racist," she stated.
Sharon replied, "It's too late. I think that seed's already sowed."
Sheryl reiterated, "For me, I thought I was asking a question about the perception for other people. That's why I prefaced it with, ‘I've never heard you utter anything racist.' But I have felt that Piers was racist in his stance against Meghan Markle and the last time he was on this show I said as much."
Sharon muttered in response, "Oh, please."
Still, Sharon said that she doesn't understand how Piers' comments were racist in nature, saying, "If he doesn't like someone, and I think this is for everybody who isn't born white, if Piers doesn't like someone and they happen to be Black, does that make him racist? Why can't it be that he just doesn't like her? Why does it have to be racist?"
Amanda Kloots brought the debate to a close by asking if Sharon felt Piers' dislike for Meghan was motivated by his loyalty to the royal family, an idea that Sharon agreed with.
On Tuesday, March 9, Sharon voiced support for Piers on Twitter, writing, "@piersmorgan I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you're paid for your opinion and that you're just speaking your truth."
This tweet came after Piers stormed off the set of Good Morning Britain when his co-host Alex Beresford criticized him for his continued attacks on Meghan, who he claims he was previously friends with. As Alex said, "I understand that you've got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle or had one and she cut you off. She's entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has but yet you continue to trash her."
At this point in the conversation, Piers walked off the set, telling Alex, "Sorry. You can trash me mate, but not on my own show. See you later. Sorry, can't do this."
ITV has since confirmed that they have parted ways with Piers, who was the subject of over 41,000 complaints received by Ofcom, a communications regulator in the U.K. E! News understands that the Duchess of Sussex also submitted a complaint over Piers' conduct, but it's unclear who it was sent to.