'The Talk': Sharon Osbourne exits US show after heated row about racism

The chat show's last original panellist has left the daytime favourite after defending Piers Morgan's comments about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 20:  Sharon Osbourne attends the first day of auditions for the X Factor at The Titanic Hotel on June 20, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

After 11 years co-hosting the popular daytime staple, Sharon Osbourne is leaving The Talk.

The TV personality is exiting the talk show following a controversial on-screen argument about racism, where she defended Piers Morgan's comments about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Osbourne, 68, clashed with her co-hosts in the March 10 episode as they discussed Morgan's comments following the duchess's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The journalist had claimed he "did not believe a word" when Meghan said she felt suicidal while pregnant with son Archie, and Osbourne subsequently tweeted her support.

The day after her social media post, The Talk co-host Sheryl 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, who is married to Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy, replied: "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."

Following backlash over her comments, the talk show was put on pause as CBS conducted an internal review of the matter.

The broadcaster confirmed on Friday that Osbourne – the only original panellist left on the show following its 2010 debut – had decided to quit.

"The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home," said the network.

"As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behaviour 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."

While Osbourne has not yet commented since news of her departure was announced, she issued an apology on Instagram following the broadcast of the episode.

"To anyone of colour that I offended and / or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry," she wrote, adding she "panicked" and "got defensive".

Allegations later emerged, following the broadcast of The Talk episode, accusing Osbourne of using racist language.

Journalist Yashar Ali claimed the TV personality called former co-host Julie Chen "wonton", an allegation Osbourne has denied.

Following its hiatus, The Talk is due to return to screens on Monday, April 12.