Entertainment

Piers Morgan says Sharon Osbourne is a victim of ‘stinking hypocrisy’


Piers Morgan, who recently quit “Good Morning Britain” rather than apologize for controversial remarks about the former Meghan Markle, thinks CBS’ decision to part ways with “The Talk” host Sharon Osbourne is “a terrible indictment of woke cancel culture bull— and the stinking hypocrisy that lies at the heart of it.”

In a piece Monday for the Daily Mail, Morgan focused on “The Talk” co-host Sheryl Underwood as an example of said hypocrisy, referring to a discussion that took place on “The Talk” in 2017.

Underwood had defended Latino comic George Lopez when he was accused of racism after he raged at and kicked out a Black woman in his audience who stood up and flipped him off during a racially charged bit where he said nobody in his family was allowed to marry a Black person.

(A friend of the woman at Lopez’s show, which happened in Phoenix, later said she was joking and playing along when she stood up, not heckling, and that Lopez was the one who was offended.)

“Once you throw up the bird twice and you are in the first few rows, you have now inserted yourself into the show and it depends on the mood of the comic on how they handle it,” Underwood, also a standup comic, said at the time. “I am pro-Black female, but if you put yourself into it, you gon’ get lit up. I would’ve said: ‘B—, that’s why nobody’s going to marry you ‘cause you talking in my show.’”

Morgan framed the exchange in the context of, what if Osbourne had said this? She would have been pilloried and would have deserved to be fired, he said.

“Ms. Underwood,” he said, “was applauded for it by the audience and suffered no disciplinary action from her CBS bosses.”

In contrast, after an investigation, CBS announced Friday evening that Osbourne would be leaving “The Talk” after she defended Morgan’s freedom of speech regarding Meghan and was subsequently involved in a conversation with Underwood about racism. The network said Osbourne’s behavior toward her co-hosts — Underwood, Elaine Welteroth and Amanda Kloots — in that heated March 10 exchange “did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”

“I feel even like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist,” Osbourne said of Morgan during the episode.

She further declared that neither she nor Morgan was racist, though she later admitted she “had a go” at Underwood — her words, spoken in another interview — when she asked her co-host for an education about what he’d said that was racist. Osbourne apologized for her behavior in a March 11 statement on Twitter.

Underwood kept her calm during the contentious episode and revisited the situation days later on her podcast, saying she thought at the time that she was having a “great conversation” with her colleagues. “The vibe for me was, this was already forgiven and over as soon as it was said,” she said on her podcast.

The show went on hiatus the following Monday and will stay on break until the week of April 12, the network said Friday, during which time it will be “coordinating workshops, listening sessions and training about equity, inclusion and cultural awareness for the hosts, producers and crew.”

“I’ve never said a single thing about Meghan Markle that could possibly be construed as racist, either in print or on television,” Morgan wrote in his own defense Monday, referring in part to comments he’d made questioning the veracity of the former “Suits” actress after she and Prince Harry sat down for a high-profile interview with Oprah Winfrey.

“In fact, the only time I’ve ever mentioned her race has been to repeatedly say how great it was that a bi-racial woman was marrying into the very white British royal family.”

During the interview with Winfrey, Meghan said she’d had suicidal thoughts sparked by public criticism and worsened by a lack of support from the royal “institution.” She also accused an unnamed member of the royal family of making a racist remark about son Archie before he was born.

A story Meghan told about getting married secretly before her official wedding was later debunked, with the former royals’ spokesperson later saying in a statement that the couple had merely “exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding.”

“It’s true that having once been friendly with her, I’ve been very critical of her in the past three years because I believe she’s a fake virtue-signalling hypocrite who ruthlessly exploits her royal titles for financial gain,” Morgan continued. He’d had an 18-month online friendship with Markle via social media but said she ghosted him after she met Harry.

“But none of that honestly held opinion is based on anything to do with her skin color,” the TV personality wrote for the Daily Mail. “I’ve been equally critical of Harry for his own ludicrous antics and he’s white.”

Morgan also brought up something prescient that he’d said during an appearance on “The Talk” in October.

“‘I never want to have an argument with someone like Sharon,’ I said, ‘and then say at the end, right because I don’t agree with you, I want you fired from The Talk immediately. That is not democracy,’” Morgan recalled.

“Sharon Osbourne was entitled to defend me without being deemed a racist. Just as I was entitled not to believe Meghan Markle without being deemed a racist,” Morgan said. “The fact we’ve both lost our jobs is not just an appalling attack on free speech, but it’s also a terrible indictment of woke cancel culture bull— and the stinking hypocrisy that lies at the heart of it.

“Every journalist and commentator in America should be as incensed as I am about this,” he said, “because they could all be next.”

Meanwhile, Osbourne’s friends seem to be shocked by what has happened to her.

“To be so misrepresented is so astonishing and devastating,” said Belle Zwirdling, a friend of 40 years, in a story published late Friday by the New York Post. “Sharon was seriously confused from the moment this all went down and now she is being persecuted and scapegoated. It’s abominable, and she’s having a bad time.”

Doc McGhee, longtime manager for the band Kiss, said the Osbourne he knew from her music-management days would have punched someone out over this debacle.

“She would have cut someone’s jugular vein out by this point,” McGhee said. “But that was back in the day when being tough was part of the game and people respected you for having convictions, no matter where you stood. Today it’s all a witch hunt, and they want to ruin you if you don’t say exactly what they think you should say.”




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