The Real Reason The Talk Is Going On Hiatus

The Talk announced its sudden hiatus starting March 15, 2021 so an episode that aired on March 10, 2021 could be investigated. The daytime talk show, which premiered in 2010, has courted controversy numerous times of the years and has seen multiple co-host changes, though it was a heated exchange between two current panelists that saw CBS pull the plug on two scheduled live shows, according to Deadline.

Journalist and investigative reporter Elizabeth Vargas was expected to be a guest on the March 15, 2021 show, while country singer Carly Pearce was set to chat with hosts Sharon Osbourne, Carrie Ann Inaba, Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, and Elaine Welteroth on March 16, 2021. Neither new episode will air, however, with the show expected to return for original episodes on March 17, 2021. But what really happened to get two scheduled episodes of The Talk canceled — and what do Piers Morgan, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle have to do with it all? Keep reading to find out.

Sharon Obourne and Sheryl Underwood's confrontation launched an investigation

The Talk's March 2021 hiatus came after an exchange between Sharon Osbourne and co-host Sheryl Underwood on the March 10, 2021 episode. Osbourne had publicly defended Piers Morgan after he quit Good Morning Britain over backlash for comments about Meghan Markle following her and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey. Morgan said he did not believe Meghan's claims that she felt suicidal amongst the royal family and got into a verbal confrontation with the show's weatherman, causing Morgan to storm off set. He later confirmed that he had quit.

Osbourne supported Morgan on Twitter on March 9, 2021 and, on The Talk one day later, she appeared angry after Underwood called her out for publicly defending him. Per Deadline, Underwood told Osbourne, "While you are standing by you your friend, it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist." Osbourne asked specifically what Morgan had said that was perceived as racist and said, "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."

Osbourne subsequently tweeted an apology on March 12, 2021. "To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry. I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over."

Here's what CBS said about the Sharon Osbourne controversy

CBS spoke out about the exchange in a statement on March 12, 2021, the same day Sharon Osbourne issued her apology. In it, The Talk's network said (via Deadline), "We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of The Talk are currently under internal review." The news of the hiatus came two days later, at which point CBS reportedly alerted staff that the March 15 and 16 episodes would not be filmed ahead of the planned return on March 17, 2021. Deadline also claimed that "a closed-door meeting among the hosts" happened in the wake of Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood's exchange.

Osbourne slammed the network in an interview with Variety on March 13, 2021, in which she blamed CBS for how the situation went down as she claimed she "was blindsided" and was "not involved with the planning of the segment" for the first time in 11 years. She said she was asked by the producers if she was okay discussing Morgan and she said yes. However, she alleged that, when the show started, Underwood "turn[ed] around straight-faced, look[ed] at me and [was] reading from a card with questions." Osbourne said she was "so hurt" and "stunned by what I was being asked and not prepared. I was honestly in shock. I felt like I was in front of a firing squad. I felt like a lamb held out for slaughter."

Sharon Osbourne was hit with another race-related controversy following the exchange

The Talk's hiatus news came after Sharon Osbourne was also hit with another racism-related allegation when former co-host Holly Robinson Peete claimed Osbourne had called her "too 'ghetto'" before she was let go from the show in 2011 after just one season. Peete shared a photo from the show, which showed her alongside original panelists Osbourne, Leah Remini, Sara Gilbert, and Julie Chen. "Sharon complained that I was too 'ghetto' for #theTalk...then I was gone," she tweeted. "I bring this up now bc I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took w/her co host who remained calm & respectful because...she HAD to."

Osbourne responded on Twitter. She shared a screenshot of an email alleged to be from Peete and claimed she "never had the ability/authority to get anyone fired from The Talk." In a second tweet, she added, "Never in my life did I utter the words that Holly was 'too ghetto' to be on [The Talk], as well as not having her fired." But how will the situation play out once The Talk returns from its brief hiatus? Stay tuned!