The Talk viewers 'boycotting' show after Sharon Osbourne's departure as low ratings spark cancellation fears
THE Talk viewers are “boycotting” the CBS show after Sharon Osbourne’s departure, as low ratings have sparked cancellation fears.
CBS announced Sharon, 68, quit The Talk after her on-air fight with co-host Sheryl Underwood earlier this month, as the network said her behavior “did not align” with their “values for a respectful workplace.”
Sharon received backlash for “racially insensitive” comments while she defended her friend Piers Morgan’s harsh criticism of Meghan Markle through the years, calling it his “freedom of speech.”
Without Sharon, who is the only original cast member, fans are boycotting the talk show, which now stars remaining hosts Sheryl, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth.
One fan wrote: “I have boycotted the show due to the unfair treatment of Sharon Osbourne! So much for free speech in America!”
A second said: “I will miss Sharon Osbourne on The Talk. It was obvious that she truly loved and respected the other cohosts.
“Sad that she and Sheryl will never have the same wonderful relationship that they once had. I wish her the best and I feel that she will be missed by many.”
A third commented: “No longer watching without Sharon Osbourne being on the show!!!! So wrong to let her leave the show!!!!!”
A fourth fired: “No Sharon, the show is gonna stink, she was the only one keeping it real. Won’t watch another effing episode!”
Another wrote, “Boycott,” while a sixth said, “Will never watch again. Good bye!!!”
The viewer reaction comes as The Sun previously reported there are cancellation fears.
An insider claimed: “Cancellation has to be on the minds of execs because this show is a bigger headache than it's worth dealing with. Ratings are still in the toilet and now the racism scandal makes it even less appealing to viewers.
"Many have vowed not to watch without Sharon on the show. Without Sharon there is no star power.”
The source said celebrity guests are “canceling right and left and don’t want to be associated with the show.”
The insider continued to allege: “The current hosts are D-list at best in the industry. Sharon had celebrity friendships that translated into bookings.
“Guests are also pissed off they were booked and canceled and rebooked and canceled again. It's a booking nightmare.”
Staff morale is “at an all-time low,” the source said.
The insider added: “There's no faith in the leadership or direction of the show. The show has blown up in the staff’s faces and the show looks worse than Ellen did over the summer.
“It's all so humiliating.”
The Talk has struggled with low ratings since Marie Osmond's departure after one season last year.
The fight started when Sharon opened the March 10 episode defending her decision to stand by her friend Piers, who quit Good Morning Britain after co-host Alex Beresford slammed him for his scrutiny of Prince Harry’s wife.
Sharon told her co-hosts: “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” the 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 saying: “I think it’s too late. I think that seed’s already sewn.”
A source told The Sun both sides “refused to apologize,” though Sharon did issue an apology on her Instagram page following the argument.
After finishing up the week, the show went on a hiatus as the network conducted an "internal review.”
The network issued a statement that they are "committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Sharon claimed: "They'd set me up. The producers never told me.
"If they'd said to me, listen, the execs here aren't happy with what's gone on with you and Piers – we've got to try and sort this situation out, the girls are going to ask you these questions, blah, blah. Bring me in on it. Don't blindside me.
"If they'd said these execs aren't happy, I'd have worked on it with them. But give me a chance. Don't bloody surprise attack me on national TV live for 20 minutes when it was meant to be four other segments.”
She told the publication that she hopes the CBS investigation will determine who gave the order to "blindside her.”
The Sun previously reported Sharon was “not expected to return” despite executives and staff being “divided” over her future on the show.
The insider claimed: “The lawyers seem to be battling out regarding money, letting her spin it, non-disparagement and more. It's all happening at the highest levels of the network.”
On Friday, CBS announced Sharon had quit the show.
The statement read: “Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk. The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home.
“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.
“At the same time, we acknowledge the network and studio teams, as well as the showrunners, are accountable for what happened during that broadcast. As it was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.”
The statement ended: “During this week’s hiatus, we are coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew. 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.”
A source told The Sun following her departure that Sharon “remains livid” and “lost trust in the network.”
Sharon was “utterly bewildered by the way" CBS bosses made it "look like she was racist,” the insider said.
Page Six reported Sharon got $10M for her exit, but a rep for CBS denied the report.
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