Earlier this week, Sharon was one of the first stars to speak out in support of Piers when it was announced that he was leaving GMB, after he cast doubt on recent claims made by Meghan Markle about her mental health, sparking more than 40,000 Ofcom complaints.
The former X Factor judge tweeted at the time: “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.”
On Wednesday, Piers was the topic of conversation on the US panel show The Talk, which Sharon regularly appears on.
Sharon once again defended her friend, with whom she worked on America’s Got Talent for many years, although many viewers felt she crossed a line with both the comments she made to fellow panellist Sheryl Underwood and her tone.
Sharon told her fellow presenters: “I feel like I am about to be put in the electric chair, because I have a friend who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist. And for me, at 68 years of age to have to turn around and say, ‘I ain’t racist’… what’s it got to do with me?”
She then questioned: “How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life?”
“Well,” began Sheryl, to which Sharon responded: “Well what?”
Sheryl then took the opportunity to cut to an ad break.
When the show resumed, Sharon said to her fellow panellist: “I will ask you again, Sheryl. I’ve been asking you during the break, and I’m asking you again.
“And don’t try and cry, because if anyone should be crying, it should be me.”
Raising her voice, Sharon continued: “This is the situation. You tell me where you have heard him say… educate me! Tell me! When you have heard him say racist things. Educate me! Tell me!”
“It is not the exact words of racism,” Sheryl responded. “It is the implication and the reaction to it… to not want to address that because [Meghan Markle] is a Black woman, and to try to dismiss it, and to make it seem less than what it is. That’s what makes it racist.
“But right now, I’m talking to a woman who I believe is my friend. And I don’t want anybody here to watch this and [think] we’re attacking you for being racist.”
As Sharon scoffed, Sheryl added: “For that, if I articulated…”
“I think it’s too late,” Sharon interrupted. “I think that seed’s already sown.”
Sheryl then clarified: “But that is why I’m saying, for me, I’m saying, for me, for me, I thought I was asking a question about the perception for other people. That’s why I pressed it with I’ve never heard you say anything racist, but I have felt that Piers was racist in his stance against Meghan Markle, and the last time he was on this show, I said as much.”
Sharon was heard saying “oh please, Sheryl”, during her co-star’s last statement.
As footage of the incident began circulating online, many voiced their disapproval for the way Sharon had spoken to her co-presenter about the issue of race:
Although he didn’t comment on the clip in question, Piers has thanked Sharon for her public support, tweeting on Wednesday night: “When stuff like this happens, true friends run towards you, fake friends run away. I love Sharon Osbourne because she always stays true to herself.
“She knew she would get abused by the woke brigade for tweeting this – but did it anyway because it [is] what she believes.”
Addressing his GMB exit the day after it was announced, Piers said: “I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that’s entirely their right.
“I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible.
“If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly-held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it.”