The conversation returned to CBS on Monday, her first episode since Sharon Osbourne resigned as co-anchor following a heated on-air discussion about racism and an internal CBS review.
Host Sheryl Underwood referenced Osbourne’s departure at the top of the show and said the episode would be “unlike any other. [they’ve] Had before “.
“We need to process the events of that day and what has happened since then so that we can come to a healing,” he said. “For the next hour we will honestly discuss what happened and explore some of our feelings, and also show you how anyone can feel more comfortable discussing important issues and having difficult conversations. And at the end of the hour, we want everyone to feel empowered and ready. to move on. “
Diversity, equity, inclusion and justice expert Dr. Donald E. Grant sat down with all hosts, including Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Elaine Welteroth, and Amanda Kloots, to lead a conversation about the events of the March. 10 episode. Underwood remembered how he felt during the discussion with Osbourne.
“I didn’t want to escalate things with Sharon because I thought she was having a conversation with a friend,” he said. “But also, I knew that I had to be a role model for others because I didn’t want to be perceived as the angry black woman. And that really scared me. I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to stay calm and focused. It’s hard to go back to that day. because I feel the trauma, I feel fear, a little apprehension. “
Welteroth later rejected the allegations that she and Underwood “attacked” Osbourne on the air and that they conspired to take her by surprise with the difficult conversation about race.
“Like Sheryl said, we knew we had to keep our composure in that situation,” he shared. “Even in front of someone who was A, who was not listening and B, was derailed and disrespected, when we maintained our respect within the context of this very complex, charged and emotional conversation … And we were not heard. And what It is so important to people at home who see themselves in these unfolding racial dynamics is that they understand that even if your voice is shaking and even if you don’t have the perfect words, it is important that you find your voice and that he has maintained his integrity and that he stands up for what he believes in. “
“All you can control is yourself, and I think the way Sheryl, the two of us, frankly, conducted ourselves that day was respectful,” he continued. “And you were trying to protect your friend in the process of a very difficult conversation, and I want people to ask themselves, why do you think we are attacking her? There was nothing in my letters that was preparing me. There has been a great lots of false narratives woven into the media that frame both Sheryl and myself as co-conspirators to attack someone. I just want to take this opportunity to say that that is absolutely categorically false and unfair. “
Underwood also clarified that he has not spoken to Osbourne since the incident and that while he received text messages from his former co-host, he did not respond due to the ongoing CBS investigation at the time. He also said how he would react if he were to see Osbourne today.
“First of all, if you greet me warmly and sincerely, I would give you that in the same way because we’ve been on the show together for 10 years,” he noted. “You know what I’m saying? I want people to understand that when you are friends with someone, you are still friends.”
Monday’s show topics centered on a discussion of race and healing. In addition to Dr. Grant, Dr. Anita Phillips, a nationally acclaimed trauma therapist and life coach, shared her experience on how to heal after a painful event or conversation. Underwood spoke about what he hopes will come out of the incident.
“Well, I hope that with growth comes evolution,” he said. “You know, I want the audience to go on this journey with us and watch the show every day, stay with us, because you know, we are talking and we are talking about things and we are learning from each other. healing together “.
CBS announced that Osbourne decided to leave The conversation after 11 seasons on March 26. Her decision to resign came after receiving backlash for defending her longtime friend, Piers Morgan, and his controversial comments about Meghan Markle, sparking an intense discussion between her and her co-hosts. .
“The events of the March 10 broadcast upset everyone involved, including the home audience,” CBS said in a statement. “As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior towards her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values of a respectful workplace. Nor did we find any evidence that CBS executives They will orchestrate the discussion or take any of the guests by surprise. “
The conversation will be back on CBS all week with new episodes.