Sharon Osbourne Is Proof White People Need To Stop Playing The Victim And Own Up To Their Mistakes

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Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne has been let go from The Talk after reports of bigoted behavior came out following her defense of Piers Morgan’s racist comments regarding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah. 

On Good Morning Britain, Morgan sparked criticism by stating: “I don't believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn't believe a weather report if she read it,” in response to Markle’s claims of her deteriorating mental health while living with the Royal Family.

In response, Osbourne tweeted out her support for her long-time friend, writing: “[Piers Morgan], I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.”

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In a conversation with Sheryl Underwood on The Talk, Osbourne then claimed she's not in agreement with everything Morgan had said but defended his right to say it. “It’s not my opinion,” she said. “[I] support him for his freedom of speech, and he’s my friend.”

Except, in this case, Morgan exercising freedom of speech came at the expense of trying to hurt a Black woman who was the brunt of racially-charged comments and attacks that she said led her to contemplate suicide.

Sharon Osbourne tweeting out in support of Piers Morgan’s bigotry, whether she realized it or not, was her effectively standing with a man who is a blatant racist. 

Osbourne then began to cry on The Talk and asked Underwood, who is Black, to educate her and let her know where she went wrong.

Therein lies the problem.

Instead of taking accountability for the fact that she made a mistake, and defended a person who had spewed racist comments towards a Black woman, Osbourne instead tried to play the victim. 

Not only that, but she didn’t even try to educate herself, instead, she asked another Black woman to tell her precisely what she did wrong.

White people need to hold themselves accountable when they make mistakes. Black people shouldn’t have to sit you down, wipe away your tears, and coddle you. We shouldn’t have to educate you on an issue that you should be educating yourself on.

White people need to stop playing the victim and own up to their mistakes.

White people should also own up to their racist behavior, their privilege, and the excuses they make when they don’t stand up for Black people who experience discrimination.

Sharon Osbourne had an opportunity, on live television, to right her wrongs. She had an opportunity to apologize and own up to the fact that she had made a mistake. Instead, she chose to play the victim in a way that would make people feel bad for her which, in turn, would divert the conversation away from what really matters.

After former co-hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete opened up about their own experiences with Osbourne, CBS released a statement saying Osbourne will no longer be part of the panel show.

"The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home. As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon's behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace," CBS said in a statement. 

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Unfortunately, white people's tears — and one woman's firing — won't fix centuries of oppression Black people have faced and continue to face.

Being an ally to POC doesn’t mean trying to come out of this fight unscathed and innocent. Confronting your internalized racism and working on your unconscious biases is the only way we can begin to heal this country.

Saying the words “I’m not racist,” doesn’t mean much if there is no direct action backing that up.

Anyone can sit there and proclaim they're not a racist person, but that won’t mean much if you’re not actively working on anti-racist behavior every day.

It’s about being an ally and caring about marginalized communities. It’s about making sure we continue to fight for Black people to be able to have basic human rights.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.