"The Talk" returned on Monday, following an internal investigation into comments by now-departed co-host Sharon Osbourne, who had defended the right of U.K. TV personality Piers Morgan to make what many considered racist statements.
"It's time for an episode of 'The Talk' that will be unlike any other we've had before," said Sheryl Underwood, 57, one of the remaining four co-hosts of the CBS daytime panel-discussion show, in the episode's opening moments. "We haven't been together in the studio since the week of March 10th, and as you may know, during our break, Sharon decided to leave 'The Talk.' We need to process the events of that day and what happened since, so we can get to the healing … and we'll also show you how anyone can become more comfortable discussing important issues and having difficult conversations."
Co-host Carrie Ann Inaba, who was not present for that March 10 episode, served as moderator over the hourlong session that first included Donald Grant, executive director of the consulting firm Mindful Training Solutions, and then trauma therapist and podcaster Anita Phillips. Inaba, 53, noted that she and her co-hosts had "been in our own healing sessions" with the consulting firm Jones Diversity.
Recalling her questioning of Osbourne on March 10, Underwood said she "didn't want to escalate things with Sharon because I thought I was having a conversation with a friend, but also I knew I had to be an example for others to follow because I didn't want to be perceived as 'the angry Black woman.' "
Co-host Elaine Welteroth, 36, said she tried that day "to steer the conversation away from a debate about who's racist, who's not, what's racist, what's not, and to talk really about what does it mean to be anti-racist, because that's a more productive conversation." She added that she and Underwood on that episode had been "walking the same tightrope that Black women are walking every single day in the workplace," noting, "We had to stay composed … even in the face of someone who was A) not listening and B) who went off the rails into disrespect…."
Saying that "false narratives … have been spun in the aftermath of what happened on that episode," Welteroth said claims that she and Underwood had conspired against Osbourne were "absolutely, categorically false."
Osbourne, 68, has not commented publicly, and did not respond to a request for comment. An industry source close to her told Newsday, "Sharon did not watch it, was not interested in watching it, and has moved on."
After saying on air that she disagreed with Morgan's statements about the biracial Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, but supported his right to his opinions, Osbourne subsequently apologized to "anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said."
CBS suspended new "Talk" episodes in mid-March while reviewing Osbourne's comments, as well as subsequent additional allegations of past racially insensitive remarks.