"The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home."
2021 was a wild ride for the hosts of "The Talk" – as well as the viewers at home! Over the past 12 months, the show has had some major switch ups, including the departure of the only remaining original cast member. The program also saw the introduction of several new faces, including two of the first ever male co-hosts. By the start of season 12, the show had a completely new vibe, paving the way for a new direction for the show.
Find out what happened this year on "The Talk"...
Amanda Kloots Joins the Cast
In early 2021, Amanda Kloots kicked off the new year by joining the show. The former Broadway actress and celebrity fitness trainer served as Marie Osmond's replacement, who had stepped back from the show in 2020.
"I am thrilled and honored to join this incredible cast and crew. I look forward to starting off the new year with honest and thought-provoking discussions, mixed with plenty of fun and laughter too," Amanda said in a statement.
Former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth joined the cast alongside Amanda in January. The writer, who penned "More Than Enough," stepped in to replace Eve who had decided not to return to the show just a month prior. At the time, Elaine said she was already feeling at home on set.
"I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the phenomenal women of The Talk. They have each made me feel right at home alongside them on this incredible platform that cultivates connection, kindness and understanding when we all need it most. I look forward to learning from them and lending my perspective to conversations that build bridges in this singular time in our world," Elaine said in her own statement.
Sharon Osbourne Exits The Show
In March, Sharon Osbourne, the only remaining original cast member, exited the show after making controversial statements in a conversation about Piers Morgan. Sharon came to his defense after he was ridiculed for saying he did not believe anything Meghan Markle said in her tell-all interview with Oprah. The discussion turned to racism and at times, Sharon was dismissive of her co-host Sheryl Underwood during the conversation.
Following the heated discussion, Sharon apologized for her comments but explained that she felt she had been set up by producers, who had allegedly given her other co-hosts preparation for the discussion. The show went on an extended hiatus while CBS conducted an internal review of Sharon's heated remarks. In the end, Sharon departed from the show.
"Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave 'The Talk.' 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. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts," CBS said in a statement.
In April, Carrie Ann Inaba announced she was taking a leave of absence from the show in order to take care of her health. The television personality struggles with several autoimmune conditions including lupus, Sjogrën's, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and vasculitis.
"I have decided to take a leave of absence from The Talk to focus on my wellbeing. I know you guys understand health is the most important thing…I appreciate your support. I appreciate the love and support from 'The Talk' family, and I hope to be back soon. Take care and I'll keep you updated," Carrie Ann said in an Instagram video.
Jerry O'Connell Becomes The First Permanent Male Co-Host
Jerry O'Connell became the first permanent male co-host in July, stepping in to replace Sharon Osbourne. Executive producers of the show expressed that they hoped Jerry would bring a unique, new perspective to the show.
"It's real exciting. First of all, I want to say, you ladies have been so welcoming to me. I mean, I came here as a guest months ago, and just from the moment I walked in, you're just gracious, you're kind, you're fun, and it worked. And here we are. We're going to have a lot of fun, we really are," he said during his first episode appearance.
In August, Elaine announced she would be leaving "The Talk" after less than nine months of sitting on the panel. On Instagram, Elaine explained she would be "moving into a new chapter" and had "exciting updates to come." Two months later, she announced that she was expecting her first child.
"It is an absolute honor for anyone, but especially a young Black woman, to occupy space on-air where our perspectives are largely underrepresented. It was gratifying to be able to show up as my authentic self in front of a live national audience every day in a world as divided as ours and to stay true to myself and what I stand for. I came to The Talk to break out of my own echo chamber and to join a diverse cast in helping to bridge some of the divides in our world through conversation and empathy. I’m proud of how I represented myself and my community. But as I always say: when the music changes, so must your dance! I will miss my talented cohosts and crew and I wish them the very best. Thanks to all those who tuned in every day," Elaine said in a statement.
Carrie Ann Inaba Announces Her Permanent Departure
Four months after announcing her hiatus, Carrie Ann shared that she would not be returning to "The Talk." In an Instagram video, she expressed her gratitude to the show for making her dreams come true as well as introducing her to lifelong friends.
"I enjoyed my time at The Talk as cohost and moderator and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to grow with the entire Talk family as well as truly connect with viewers on such a personal level. I will miss The Talk, but I am excited for the next chapter both for myself and for the show," Carrie said in a statement to Deadline.
Early in September, former NFL player and entertainment personality Akbar Gbaja-Biamila joined the show as the second-ever permanent male co-host. Akbar had previously appeared on the show as a guest host on numerous occasions and was well received by the cast, crew and audience.
"It is an absolute honor to be joining The Talk as a host! I am so excited for this new generation of such a long-standing establishment. To be a part of this diverse group, is truly a dream and a new statement for The Talk. In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self everyday and advocating for conversation over confrontation," Akbar shared in a statement.
Natalie Morales Becomes the Newest Co-Host
Natalie Morales became the latest celeb to join "The Talk" in October, shortly after leaving a 22-year stint at NBC News. Natalie also previously served as the West coast anchor of "Today" and a correspondent for "Dateline NBC."
"It's an extraordinary opportunity to be joining this team at 'The Talk.' I love the new energy and direction and couldn't be more excited to join Sheryl, Amanda, Jerry and Akbar," Natalie shared.