CBS Extends The Talk's Hiatus for a Second Time amid Sharon Osbourne Controversy
The Talk was initially put on a two-day hiatus last Sunday before the break was extended the following Tuesday for a full week. The show was scheduled to return March 22 but is now on hold through at least next week, PEOPLE confirms.
The first hiatus announcement came after Osbourne, 68, defended friend Piers Morgan following the backlash for his controversial remarks questioning the validity of Meghan Markle's discussion on mental health during her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey.
"I very much feel 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 asked while on the verge of tears.
Underwood, 57, explained that while Morgan was not overtly racist, she found it hard to understand why Osbourne was defending him so fiercely, telling her "it is not the exact words of racism, it's the implication and the reaction to it."
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"We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace," the network said in a statement provided to PEOPLE at the time. "All matters related to the Wednesday episode of The Talk are currently under internal review."
Since her initial on-air outburst, Osbourne has been accused of additional instances of racism, homophobia and bullying on the set of The Talk.
On Tuesday, journalist Yashar Ali published a report alleging that Osbourne used several racial slurs while referring to her former The Talk co-host Julie Chen, citing multiple unnamed sources, including another former The Talk co-host, Leah Remini.
Osbourne called the claims "crap, all crap," in an interview first given to Daily Mail Wednesday, but repeated the racist language. (PEOPLE confirmed the veracity of the quotes, as reported by The Daily Mail, and Osbourne shared a similar statement.)
Ali's Tuesday report further claimed that Osbourne referred to former co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who is lesbian, as "p---- licker" and "fish eater."
The week prior, Holly Robinson Peete, who exited the daytime talk show in 2011 following its first season, claimed that Osbourne had complained she was "too 'ghetto,'" and alleged that it played a role in her departure.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE on Tuesday, Osbourne's publicist, Howard Bragman, denied the allegations against the British TV personality. That same day, CBS announced that The Talk would extend its production hiatus as they "continue to review these issues."
"CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions," reps for the show said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time. "We're also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on The Talk. This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary."