A fellow host, Sheryl Underwood, said to Osbourne on the show last Wednesday, “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?” Underwood, like Markle, is Black.
Osbourne replied angrily, using words that were bleeped out, and said she felt like she was being placed on “the electric chair” for having a friend that some people think is racist.
The emotional discussion continued after a commercial break. At one point Osbourne said to Underwood, “don't try to cry. If anyone should be crying, it should be me.”
Osbourne, 68, told “Entertainment Tonight” that she’d been set up by CBS executives. She referred to a pact the panelists allegedly made in February after Carrie Ann Inaba caught fellow co-host Elaine Welteroth off guard with a question she had been given by producers. Inaba, who is Asian American, asked Welteroth, who is Black, what Osbourne called a “very naive” question about why white people couldn’t use the N-word. Osbourne told the entertainment newsmagazine that the hosts agreed not to blindside each other after that exchange became emotional.
She said the conversation with Underwood goes against that pact.
“I’ve been set up,” Osbourne told “ET,” describing her thoughts when the heated argument began. “And I went, like, how dare you all do this to me? I’m your sacrificial lamb.”
Osbourne also claimed later that the show’s producers told her offscreen that CBS had ordered she be confronted about her support for Morgan. CBS has not addressed that accusation.
The network would not say precisely what claims it is investigating. CBS said in a statement that it “is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions.”
Journalist Yashar Ali posted a story on Tuesday saying that Osbourne, wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne who came to fame during MTV's series about the family, has a history of making culturally offensive and bullying comments.
In response to that story, Osbourne spokesman Howard Bragman said she is “disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment.”
CBS said the show is expected back on the air next Tuesday.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Stephanie Toone contributed to this report.