Sharon Osbourne to Bill Maher on The Talk exit: 'Disagreeing with someone does not make you racist'

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Lynette Rice
·4 min read
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In her first interview since leaving The Talk, Sharon Osbourne told Bill Maher Friday that she's "angry" and "hurt" about accusations that her language on the daytime talk show was considered racist.

"I've been called so many things in my life," Osbourne, 68, told Maher on his HBO talk show Real Time. "I am so used to being called names but a racist is one I will not take ... Disagreeing with someone does not make you a racist, in my book."

The HBO comedian was the first to score a sit-down with Osbourne, who recently left the CBS talk show after an on-air dust-up March 10 with colleague Sheryl Underwood over Piers Morgan and his incendiary words about Meghan Markle's mental health. Maher offered Osbourne a sympathetic ear — when he wasn't giving his own commentary about the "tragic events of March 10," that is — and even made fun of how Osbourne's comments were made on "the ironically titled show The Talk. You were talking and if there is one lesson from this, [is that] nothing is allowed anymore."

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"I'm a fighter," said Osbourne, who appeared in a black suit and stilettos. "But what about the people who are cut from the knees down and can't afford to go get lessons on what is politically correct and how to talk to people? It's not fair because it isn't about being a racist, it's about not knowing what is correct and woke for your language that day. Because it changes from day to day."

Maher asked a few, albeit cheeky, questions about Osbourne's relationship with Morgan, including whether the British broadcaster once saw her breasts. "Just one," admitted Osbourne, who said she and Morgan have had "terrible fights" but "he's a mate of mine." She went on to defend Morgan's comments about Markle by saying "he's entitled to his [opinion]. That's what it's all about. You are entitled to have a disagreement, discuss in it a normal way."

Osbourne also denied ever talking trash about former Talk co-hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete, who both went public with their own stories about their time with the elder Talk co-host.

"It's disgruntled ladies," Osbourne said dismissively.

When the discussion broadened to include the Royal Family, Osbourne took a swing at Prince Harry. "You know when they say with white privilege? Right there with Harry. He's the poster boy," she told Maher. "He sits there and says daddy cut him off so he's not on the wages anymore and he was boo-hooing about it. You can't feel empathy for that because you are healthy, bright educated young man. You can go do whatever you want to do. Your life is your own."

Maher wrapped up the interview by asking whether rumors in the tabloids were true — that she's entertaining lots of offers, including partnering with Morgan on a late night show. She said no but added, "I'm fine. I'm a fighter. I'm doing just fine."

"We can't judge everyone by their worst moment," Maher said.

Missed that March 10 episode of The Talk? Here's a recap: Osbourne and Underwood started with a discussion about Morgan and how he didn't believe Markle during her now-infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey. Underwood then questioned Osbourne about her support for the polarizing Morgan.

"While you are standing by your friend, it appears that you are giving validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist," Underwood said.

Osbourne then asked Underwood to explain what was racist about what Morgan said in regards to the duchess.

"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 said, telling Underwood "not to cry" as they continued talking.

The Talk was launched in 2010 with Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, and Marissa Jaret Winokur. Underwood, who joined in season 2, is now the veteran on the panel.

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