Sharon Osbourne is walking back her previous support of British television personality Piers Morgan, who left “Good Morning Britain” as co-host this week following a heated debate over Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Osbourne, 68, fired off a tweet in support of Morgan after he came under fire for claiming he “didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview,” among other intense claims. Morgan’s remarks drew more than 41,000 complaints to the ITV network.
Osbourne, an outspoken co-host of “The Talk,” clarified her statements during Thursday’s show, telling her co-hosts that Morgan’s thoughts were “not” her opinion.
Then, on Friday, Osbourne took to her social media to issue a lengthy statement explaining she had done “some reflection.”
“After sitting with your comments & sitting with my heart I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday. I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the black community & I have deep respect & love for the black community. To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,” Osbourne’s statement begins.
Ozzy Osbourne’s wife went on to explain she felt “panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over.”
“There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast! I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us & will continue to learn, listen and do better,” Osbourne’s statement continues.
The “Talk” co-host then condemned racism.
“Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying. I should have been more specific about that in my tweet. I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction. I hope we can collectively continue to learn from each other & from ourselves so we can all continue to pave the way for much needed growth & change. The community on this platform means a lot to me. I hope we can all hold each other up with accountability, compassion & love during this powerful time of paving the way for so much needed change,” she concluded.
During the TV chat, Osbourne explained that while she didn’t agree with Morgan’s opinion, she supported his voicing it.
“I know he has a right to say what he feels on the interview, as we have a right to say and everybody has a right to say what they feel with freedom of speech,” she said, per Entertainment Tonight. “Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No, because it’s his opinion. It’s not my opinion.”
Piers Morgan left “Good Morning Britain” as co-host this week following a heated debate over Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
(Ben Stansall/Pool via AP)
Co-host Amanda Kloots said that “it’s always really hard when you see a good friend going through a difficult situation and you know them on a different level and really know their personal heart and their minds,” and said she understands why the former reality star would reach out to support her old pal.
However, co-host Sheryl Underwood recounted trying to speak with Morgan about how his criticism of the Duchess of Sussex has “racist implications.”
“He doesn’t want to understand how Meghan was treated was racism and then says … ‘I don’t see it as being racist — I don’t believe what she’s going through’ — it’s that white entitlement, privilege that makes it racist upon itself,” the comedian stated. “So if you’re saying ‘I stand with you,’ how do you address people who say then you are standing with racism? I’m not saying that you are.”
Co-host Elaine Welteroth then said it would have been an opportunity for Osbourne to “stand up for anti-racism.”
“When we give passes or give space to people who are saying damaging, harmful things, what we’re kind of doing is permissing it,” she explained. “And I think that’s what people are reacting to.”
Osbourne then asked: “So if I like Piers and he’s seen as racist, I’m racist? Is that what you’re saying?”
The other women explained that they didn’t see it that way, but did see how Morgan’s comments — specifically that he didn’t believe Markle’s claims which included racism and mental health struggles — to be racist.
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.