Elaine Welteroth has broken her silence over that controversial leaked audio.
In case you haven’t heard it yet, the tape features The Talk co-host apparently siding with former co-host Sharon Osbourne backstage following the controversial episode that led to the 68-year-old leaving.
As you may know, Osbourne maintained on multiple occasions that the producers of the daytime series had thrown her under the bus that day she defended Piers Morgan for his racially charged comments towards Meghan Markle. Both Sheryl Underwood and Welteroth denied the setup accusations. But in the DailyMail.com clips, the 34-year-old journalist seemingly agreed with the sentiment and apologizes for the “inhumane” situation. She says in the leaked audio:
“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. But I also understand when you had night-long 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.”
Welteroth then insists that no one in the cast thought she was “racist,” saying:
“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.”
Many have taken this tape as evidence that they didn’t really have a problem with Osbourne’s overly defensive behavior during the horribly awkward episode — suggesting they are pretending to be offended.
Now, Welteroth is arguing that she was just trying to be kind to her friend — and that gesture is now being taken out of context to defend Osbourne’s actions. In a statement to Entertainment Tonight she explains:
“None of us wanted that day to go how it did, and I do not regret sharing these feelings in a private conversation with a colleague. I welcome fair, constructive dialogue, and I am no stranger to tough conversations about race. But I will not be vilified for telling the truth, on or off-air.”
The former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief then claims that the conversation between the pair had been recorded without her permission, saying:
“To set the record straight, it was not a hot mic — I was unlawfully recorded without consent. And I never filed a complaint with HR against Sharon Osbourne or anyone else. I am disheartened, however, that I was recorded without my consent and that my kindness has been taken out of context and weaponized in an attempt to absolve responsibility for someone else’s actions.”
What we heard on that tape is exactly what Elaine is saying now: a friend comforting another friend. She likely was even telling the truth, that the co-hosts didn’t think of Sharon as a racist.
But would that even excuse the behavior during that episode — and the lack of apology later?
As for the ladies not thinking she’s racist, well, maybe no current ones. Former The Talk co-hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete have accused her of saying some pretty awful things in the past. There is certainly no coming back from the racist and homophobic language she allegedly used towards her colleagues.
However, elsewhere in the unauthorized recording Elaine does seemingly agree with Sharon that the whole situation was a “set up” despite her denying it in the past. Is that just a misunderstanding? We would have appreciated some sort of clarification on that point in this statement.
Instead, Welteroth quickly transitions into talking about the former America’s Got Talent judge’s replacement, saying:
“I was honored to join The Talk to add my voice to important and lively conversations. I am so excited about the next chapter with our new co-host Jerry O’Connell, and I am grateful for the new perspectives he will bring to the show.”
What are your thoughts on Elaine’s response to the leaked audio, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
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