Comedian Sherri Shepherd is speaking out against Sharon Osbourne’s heated race debate with Sheryl Underwood on The Talk.
As a former co-host on The View, Shepherd knows the pressure that can come with daytime talk shows and the verbal spats cohosts can get into on-air. However, she still feels like the controversy surrounding Osbourne’s actions on The Talk, “crosses the line,” she told Yahoo Entertainment. The British television personality has been under public scrutiny after she attempted to defend Piers Morgan amid the backlash he faced for harshly critiquing Meghan Markle’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey. Viewers watched Underwood maintain her composure while an upset Osbourne told her, “don’t try and cry, ’cause if anyone should be crying, it should be me.”
Since the heated exchange, The Talk has been on indefinite hiatus amid an investigation into allegations made against Osbourne. While the press follows Osbourne’s legal response in the matter, Shepherd is bringing the attention back to Underwood, whom she feels has been ignored in an “unfair” way. “When they tell you, you are not allowed to cry. This has been hard because I think nobody’s been talking about Sheryl Underwood and what she’s had to go through,” Shepherd said. “I think everyone’s been talking about ‘Sharon, Sharon, Sharon,’ but what did Sheryl Underwood have to go through on The Talk? When she had to speak in very slow and measured terms. So to have to measure what she’s saying and not be able to have the same kind of passion that her co-host had, I think that’s very unfair.”
Shepherd continued to speak on behalf of all women who have been put in tough situations where they were forced to save face and be the bigger person. “I think it was a trigger for a lot of women who [have] had to be in that situation of someone treating you like you’re less than,” she explained before calling out Osbourne’s onscreen behavior. “Then they try to cut to commercial and you hear curse words coming out of Sharon’s mouth towards Sheryl who’s a grown woman, she takes care of a household.”
With both Osbourne and Underwood being veteran hosts on The Talk, Shepherd addressed their history and how hurt Underwood might’ve been by Osbourne’s behavior. “They’ve been together 11 seasons, what was that [like] for her?” Shepherd asked. “And I think that’s a hard thing to have a woman talk to you in that kind of way.”
Osbourne has since walked away from her host position and quit the talk show, according to Hollywood Reporter.