The Talk finally returned to the air on Monday with its first episode in over a month.
The series became embroiled in a race-related controversy that led to the exit of original star Sharon Osbourne.
Sheryl Underwood addressed viewers at the top of Monday’s telecast.
“It’s time for an episode of The Talk that will be unlike any other we’ve had before. As you may know, during our break, Sharon decided to leave The Talk,” the co-host shared.
“We need to process the events of that day and what happened since, so we can get to the healing. Over the next hour, we will honestly discuss what occurred and explore some of our feelings.”
“And we’ll also show you how anyone can become more comfortable discussing important issues and having difficult conversations. By the end of the hour, we want everyone to feel empowered and ready to move forward.”
The Talk was placed on hiatus after the March 10 episode, which found the stars of the series speaking about whether they thought Piers Morgan’s controversial comments about Meghan Markle were racist.
Osbourne had voiced her support for Morgan ahead of that telecast, and during the heated debate, said that she felt like she was being put in the electric chair for her support of Morgan.
There was much criticism leveled at Osbourne following the episode, prompting her to apologize the next day.
She said that she “got defensive and allowed my fear and 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 and will continue to learn, listen and do better.”
Following allegations of racism against Osbourne coming to light, CBS later announced that Osbourne “has decided to leave The Talk,” in a statement.
The network decided that Osbourne’s behavior “toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” CBS added in the statement.
“We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.”
“At the same time, we acknowledge the network and studio teams, as well as the showrunners, are accountable for what happened during that broadcast as it was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.”
Monday’s episode found special guest Dr. Donald E. Grant appearing with Underwood and fellow co-hosts Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots, and Elaine Welteroth.
“I didn’t want to escalate things with Sharon because I thought I was having a conversation with a friend. But also, I knew I had to be an example for others to follow because I didn’t want to be perceived as the angry Black woman. That really scared me; I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to remain calm,” Underwood shared.
What did you think of the first episode back?
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.