You see, Kelly—the famously outspoken daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne—has turned over a new, self-aware leaf since that regrettable moment when she tried to combat Donald Trump’s racist diatribes against Latinos by dropping her own unfortunate stereotype. (For those who don’t remember Osbourne’s unfortunate attempt at a mic drop, it went like this: “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilets?”)
These days, the TV personality and singer tells Rolling Stone, she’s learned “when to shut up and to stop talking.” At this point, she insists, “I’m definitely not the person I was before that incident.” I’m sure we’re all relieved to know that in the years following that gross remark, which Osbourne now considers the “most cringe moment of my entire life,” she has been very busy coming to grips with the extent of her privilege and how to use her platform for good.
“I’m a fucking nepo baby, and I’m proud to be a nepo baby,” Osbourne told Rolling Stone. “I’m proud of my parents’ achievements. …But it doesn’t mean that I should automatically be given all of these opportunities. My parents have always taught me that you have to prove yourself.”
This year, that apparently starts with taking some online mockery in stride. As Rolling Stone reports, TikTok users have been inspired by Osbourne’s less-than-tactful statement and have started posting their own intentionally questionable, stereotypical statements such as, “If you kick every lesbian out of this country, who’s going to rent your trucks, U-Haul?”
Osbourne’s original comment did not go over well back in 2015 on The View, immediately eliciting pushback. Rosie Perez, a host at the time, signaled her discomfort with an “Oh, that’s not…” Osbourne tried to clarify what she meant, but the damage had been done. While Osbourne apologized for her “poor choice of words” back then, she also added, “I will not apologize for being racist as I am NOT.” Some people reportedly responded with death threats, while others commenting on her Facebook statement noted that she’d previously quit Fashion Police soon after Giuliana Rancic’s own controversial comment about Zendaya’s red carpet dreadlocks.
Embarrassing as it might be to relive her comment and the firestorm that followed, Osbourne told Rolling Stone that these days, seeing “people be creative with it does put a smile on my face. It turns something so ugly into something funny.”
This is not the first time Osbourne has looked back on her brush with cancellation. She also addressed the controversy a year after it happened in her 2016 memoir, There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters from a Badass Bitch. Among those letters was one called “Dear Racists.”
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly upon the book’s release, Osbourne looked back on her The View flub and said, “I still hate myself for it, because if it was me, watching someone else say it on television, I’d hate them. But the fact is, I got cut off. No matter what I was going to say, people are not going to believe it anyway.”
Osbourne added that her primary mistake on The View “was to fall back on witty sarcasm, and you can’t do that when you’re talking about race, especially in this country. In my way of trying to defend a community of people that I do truly love, I managed to insult an entire race of people in this country. The fact that if you type in ‘Kelly Osbourne’ [into Google], the first thing that comes up is ‘racist’ just kills me.”
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Osbourne said that eventually, “I’m going to have to play that video for my son at one point and explain it to him. That is probably the cherry on the cake of how painful all of this is. I want him to understand what I was trying to say and how powerful words are.”
When asked what she’d say if she could go back and clarify her comments, Osbourne did come back with a much more wholesome sentiment.
“I feel very strongly that Latin American culture is the backbone of America,” she said. “I believe that Latin Americans are the hardest-working people you will ever meet. And their connection to family and their culture is closer to mine than the American way. I’ve never tried to be American. I never wanted to be a part of a country where there’s so much hate and there’s so much misinformation and kick them when they’re down mentality.”
As regrettable as Osbourne’s 2015 comment might’ve been, it’s always heartwarming to see a nepo baby learning and growing.