Elaine Welteroth is leaving the The Talk after just one season, becoming the second full-time panelist to depart the CBS show in the last two weeks and the third since Sharon Osbourne quit over a dispute that included allegations of racism.
Earlier this month, it was announced that another panelist, Carrie Ann Inaba, will ‘not be returning’ to moderate and co-host The Talk after announcing her leave of absence on April 26 ‘to focus on my well-being.’ She joined the show in 2017.
Osbourne, the 68-year-old music manager and wife of Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne, left in late March after a heated debate over her friend Piers Morgan saw her publicly fall out with Sheryl Underwood and other co-stars.
The row began when Morgan stormed out of the British talk show Good Morning Britain on March 9 after saying he didn’t believe Meghan Markle was suicidal following her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
When asked to comment on his remarks on The Talk the following day, Osbourne said that although she disagreed with Morgan, she supported his right to express his controversial opinion on TV.
Elaine Welteroth (pictured in December 2020) will not return as a full-time panelist on the CBS daytime talk show The Talk, it was announced on Tuesday
Welteroth departs after just one season as a permanent co-host.She is seen alongside last season’s full-time cast. From left: Welteroth, Carrie Ann Inaba, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, and Amanda Kloots
Osbourne, the 68-year-old music manager and wife of Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne, left in late March after a heated debate over her friend Piers Morgan saw her publicly fall out with Sheryl Underwood and other co-stars
Underwood, who is black, pushed back hard and accused Osbourne of downplaying Morgan’s comments and giving ‘validation’ to his ‘racist’ views.
The Talk was sent on a month-long hiatus following the heated on-air debate but Osbourne was essentially forced to quit the show.
The incident sparked a wider conversation about race and an internal investigation at CBS after Welteroth, 34, reportedly complained of ‘a racially insensitive and hostile environment’ at the show.
Welteroth and Underwood would later address the controversy on air weeks later, saying the two had been forced to stay ‘composed’ in the face of someone ‘who was not listening and who went off the rails into disrespect.’
Osbourne came under fire on The Talk in March after defending friend Piers Morgan in an on-air debate with co-host Sheryl Underwood, who accused him of making racist remarks
Welteroth (left) was part of the heated discussion on race during the March 10 episode that saw Osbourne publicly fall out with her co-stars and subsequently end her ten-year run on the show
They also denied claims of a setup, saying the question about Morgan was not included in their cards.
But an audio recording obtained by DailyMail.com reveals Welteroth appeared to take quite the opposite stance when she discussed the incident with Osbourne behind the scenes after the show.
According to the source who shared the footage, the conversation was captured on Welteroth’s microphone which was still hot when she visited a distraught Osbourne in her dressing room after they finished taping.
The clip begins with Osbourne, who was with her makeup artist and her son Jack, sobbing as Welteroth explains that she had pushed back against producers when they asked her to initiate the heated discussion.
‘They asked me to ask that question. I said, no I’m not going to ask that question,’ Welteroth says. ‘I said to them, this is going to be a train wreck.
‘Sharon, I’m just so sorry that that went the way that it went.’
Osbourne, who is in tears, replies: ‘Do you know what it is though, when you have to sit there and defend yourself?It makes you look guilty because you can’t get out of it.
‘It’s like calling somebody a pedophile, you can’t deny it. What do you say?’
Osbourne became defensive during the confrontation and later said she had been ‘blindsided’ by the question. She fired back at Underwood saying she felt like she was being placed on ‘the electric chair’ for being Morgan’s friend and asked her to show her examples of his alleged racism
In an on-air address weeks later, Welteroth and Underwood denied Osbourne’s claims she was setup and said the two had been forced to stay ‘composed’ in the face of someone ‘who was not listening and who went off the rails into disrespect’
In a series of tweets on April 13, Welteroth addressed the incident within the context of race saying black women are often ‘painted as villains’ even after maintaining their composure and grace ‘in the face of disrespect’
Welteroth then goes on to try to console Osbourne and reassure her that she has her co-stars’ support.
‘I just want you to know, Sharon. Sheryl loves you and respects you so much and had your back behind the scenes.She was not trying to attack you,’ she says.
‘But I also understand when you had a [long night] of trolls f**king attacking you online, that puts you in a position where you have to defend yourself. You feel like you have to defend yourself.
‘And I know you’re upset.I know it was terrible, but I just hope that once this blows over that you know Sheryl is your friend. She really is your friend.
‘She doesn’t think you’re racist. I don’t think you’re racist. No one who knows you would ever say that or think that.’
Osbourne replies sniveling: ‘But why couldn’t she have said, “I’ve known you for 11 years, I know you are not racist” instead of, “I don’t think you are”?
‘No.I know you’re not. There’s a huge difference. A f**king night and day difference to know.
‘I’ve gone to Sheryl,’ Osbourne continues. ‘I’ve said, “educate me. I need to know about your heritage, I need to know things.”
‘She would tell me to get this book and that book and whatever, and she would help me out with things that I didn’t quite understand.
‘When that came, I was like…it was like somebody punched me in the face.’
The row began when Morgan stormed out of UK chat show Good Morning Britain on March 9 after saying he didn’t believe Meghan Markle’s claims that she was suicidal
The controversy stems from Markle’s remarks in the Oprah interview, in which she accused the Royal Family of racism and said she was driven to suicidal thoughts
Osbourne took a stand on The Talk the following day, saying that although she disagreed with him, she supported his right to express his controversial opinion on TV