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Sheryl Underwood Disputes Sharon Osbourne’s Claim About Being ‘Set Up’



Sheryl Underwood delved further into her heated encounter with her former co-host of “The Talk” Sharon Osbourne last month, disputing Osbourne’s claim that she was “set up” by higher-ups at CBS.

The comedian discussed the incident over a new three-part episode of her podcast, “The World According to Sheryl,” saying that Osbourne’s accusation that executives at CBS had written questions for Underwood to ask Osbourne were not true.

“What additional questions came from an executive?” one of Underwood’s podcast co-hosts asked during Saturday’s episode.

“None … none, none,” Underwood replied.

Osbourne had come under fire after she shouted at Underwood during an episode of “The Talk” on March 10, when the comedian questioned her about her support for Piers Morgan, who publicly cast doubt on Meghan Markle’s experiences of dealing with racism and contemplating suicide during her time as a working royal.

The show went on an extended hiatus after the exchange as the network conducted an internal review. CBS announced on March 26 that Osbourne’s on-set behavior “did not align” with the network’s values and that the panelist had decided to leave the show.

(See a clip of the exchange below.) 

Osbourne had complained to Entertainment Tonight days after her tense encounter with Underwood that she felt taken off guard by her co-host’s question, and she accused executives of setting her up by not properly prepping her ― which she said is the usual practice. Osbourne called herself a “sacrificial lamb.”

“Sheryl asked me these questions, which I didn’t know ― and they were written questions ― and then Elaine’s [Welteroth] reading her questions, and I’m like, ‘I’ve been set up.’”

In an interview with Variety published last month, Osbourne accused CBS executives of sending orders to have Underwood ask her about Morgan’s attacks on the Duchess of Sussex.

Elsewhere in her podcast, Underwood explained that she was serving as a moderator that week and that she was holding cards as she questioned Osbourne to keep track of all the “other segments” and “other topics” that were happening that day.

She said she jotted down ideas on what to ask during the segment while talking to an executive producer.

“So I start to write on my card, and I’m talking to an executive producer ― not that they’re telling me what to say, they’re helping me shape what I want to say, and this is right before the show is starting,” Underwood recalled. “So I’m writing on a marker, ‘I’d like to start with this and then I’d like to go to this and go to that. … Does that sound OK? Does that sound succinct? It doesn’t sound argumentative does it?’”

“I’m thinking from the producer side, and I’m thinking, ‘How do you guide this conversation?’” she added.

CBS noted in its statement about Osbourne’s departure that it “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 continued.

On March 12, Osbourne issued an apology, addressed to “anyone of color,” for her behavior on air earlier that week. Elsewhere in her interview with ET, she said she had apologized to Underwood and that the comedian has “not gotten back.”

Underwood said in her podcast over the weekend that she had not spoken to Osbourne since they were on set. Asked whether Osbourne had called her, Underwood said “no.”

“I’ve been looking through my phone …” Underwood joked.

Underwood said later in the episode that she had received some text messages, though she did not specify who they were from.

“I want to be clear, I was texted by … people … and I don’t know if they want their business in the street, but I will say [I was reached out to] to say, ‘I understand what you’re going through and I know you need your space,’” Underwood later added. “Those were text messages.”

Osbourne has since told the Daily Mail that she texted Underwood to apologize and shared what she said were those texts with the outlet.

Osbourne also said she had apologized to Underwood in person in the dressing room after the encounter. Underwood said in an episode of her podcast last month that Osbourne had approached her immediately after the exchange and that the two “squashed it.”

Following Osbourne’s on-air outburst ― she demanded Underwood “educate” her on how Morgan’s behavior could be perceived as racist ― journalist Yashar Ali reported that she had been accused of making racist and homophobic comments about her former colleagues.

Osbourne denied those allegations through her publicist Howard Bragman, who called them “lies” and a “recasting of history.”



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