"It's fun, and it works, and we're going to have a lot of fun," the 47-year-old shared on Wednesday's episode of the daytime talk show.
O'Connell, an actor who's appeared in the movie Stand by Me and on TV's Sliders and Crossing Jordan, will be the gabfest's first permanent male host. He joins Sheryl Underwood, Elaine Welteroth, Amanda Kloots and Carrie Ann Inaba (who's on leave) on the CBS mainstay, which debuted in October 2010.
O'Connell's hiring comes more than three months after Osbourne, who is white, left the show in controversy, following an on-air argument with Underwood, who is Black, on March 10. It broke out as the hosts were discussing the reaction that Piers Morgan, a longtime friend of Osbourne's, had to Meghan Markle's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey last March, and whether his treatment of Markle was racist.
While Osbourne at first defended Morgan, she later issued a public apology. After the show took a hiatus, so that CBS could conduct an internal review of what happened in the situation, two former hosts of the show, Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini, said Osbourne had been racist toward Peete, who is also Black. Eleven people alleged that Osbourne had made abusive remarks, such as using racial slurs against Asian former host Julie Chen Moonves. By the end of the month, CBS announced that Osbourne would not return.
O'Connell isn't the only newbie. Both Welteroth and Kloots officially joined in December.
This story was originally published on July 13, 20201, at 7:53 p.m. ET and has been updated.
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