“How could I be racist about anybody? How could I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?” Sharon Osbourne asked her co-host on The Talk Elaine Welteroth during a furious display on Wednesday’s episode of the show. A vintage clip concerning Osbourne discussing the very subject of this week’s racial flap, Meghan Markle, sent in to Jezebel by a reader, may help illuminate this very question. During a roundtable discussion on Markle on the October 17, 2018, episode of The Talk, co-host Sheryl Underwood said Markle “brought blackness to the royal family.” Osbourne retorted, “She ain’t Black.” Underwood and fellow co-host Eve countered, “She’s Black,” Osbourne replied, “Yeah, I know but she doesn’t look Black.”
“To who?” asked Underwood. “To anybody!” said Osbourne. “Black people come in all different colors,” said Eve. “That’s a whole other different discussion about how Black you look or not look...that’s a whole discussion we don’t need to have.”
Osbourne’s was a script Markle was abundantly familiar with. She told Elle UK in 2016:
Being ‘ethnically ambiguous’, as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role. Morphing from Latina when I was dressed in red, to African American when in mustard yellow; my closet filled with fashionable frocks to make me look as racially varied as an Eighties Benetton poster. Sadly, it didn’t matter: I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.
Reflecting on the conversation with The Daily Mail, Eve later called Osbourne “the most incredible, the most open, the most honest person in the world.” “And I think some of the things, because she is so honest, can be taken in the wrong way,” Eve continued.
Just saying: There’s an obvious parallel between the ease with which both Osbourne and Piers Morgan dismiss Markle as somehow deceptive or illegitimate.
Meanwhile, former co-host of The Talk, Holly Robinson Peete tweeted Friday that Osbourne labeled her “ghetto,” implying that it led to her firing:
Variety reports that another former Talk co-host, Leah Remini, tweeted in 2012 that, “Sharon thought me and Holly were ‘Ghetto’, (her words) we were not funny, awkward and didn’t know ourselves.” According to Variety, Osbourne responded the next day via Twitter:
In response to Leah Remini’s continuous comments that I had her fired from The Talk, let me just go on the record to say…I had absolutely nothing to do [with] her departure from the show & have no idea why she continues to take to Twitter to spread this false gossip…Leah knows that I have never been in the position to hire or fire anyone on the show…It’s been seven months. It’s time to move on.