“I feel even like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist.”
On Monday, Piers said he “didn’t believe a word [Meghan Markle] says” after her bombshell interview with husband Prince Harry, resulting in backlash against the TV presenter and his subsequent exit from “Good Morning Britain.” The following day, Sharon tweeted, “@piersmorgan 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.”
“So what would you say to people who may feel that you — while you’re standing by your friend — it appears that you give validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist,” Sheryl asked Sharon on Wednesday’s program. “Even if you don’t agree.”
Sharon responded, “I don’t know what he’s uttered that’s racist. I’m not trying to slide out of this one. I don’t know. Tell me what has he uttered that’s racist.”
The veteran host appeared upset to the point of tears as she felt the need to defend herself in the moment.
“I feel even like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist,” Sharon continued. “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?’ Okay. How can I be racist about anybody? How can I be racist about anybody or anything in my life? How can I?”
As Sheryl tried to cut to commercial, Sharon wouldn’t let down and she threw out a few curse words that were censored for the show. When they returned from a commercial, Sharon was even more distressed as she begged Sheryl to explain herself.
“I will ask you again Sheryl, I’ve been asking you during the break — I am asking you again — and don’t try and cry cause if anyone should be crying, it should be me,” she said. “You tell me where you have heard him say — educate me — tell me when you have heard him say racist things and educate me, tell me.”
Sheryl replied, “It is not the exact words of racism. It’s the implication and the reaction to it. To not want to address that because she is a Black woman and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is. That’s what makes it racist.”
She then went on to say she doesn’t want the audience to think the panel is “attacking” Sharon for being racist.
“I thought I was asking a question about the perception for other people,” Sheryl continued. “That’s why I prefaced it with I’ve never heard you utter 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. I said it when he was on this show.”
“And what was his answer to you,” asked Sharon.
“He didn’t feel that it was racist,” Sheryl recalled. “He didn’t feel that the racial statements that he was making were racist. But I was talking to him.”
“Answer me this one, ’cause I don’t know, I don’t understand,” Sharon asked sincerely. “I don’t understand if he doesn’t like someone. And I think this is for everybody who is born white. If Piers doesn’t like someone and they happen to be Black, does that make him a racist? No, no, that’s a no. No. Right. So why can’t it be? He just doesn’t like her. Why does it have to be racist? No, right?”
“So why can’t it be he just doesn’t like her?”
Watch the full exchange, above.