Julie Chen is giving fans of The Talk something to talk about—even if she didn’t do much talking herself. The longtime host of the Emmy-winning CBS daytime talk show opened Monday’s live show with a brief statement addressing the sexual harassment allegations against her husband, CBS CEO Les Moonves, which were detailed in a scathing report by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker on Friday.
Chen, who in the past has reported on the Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby sexual abuse scandals, opted not to report on the alleged sexual harassment story that has hit too close to her home. Three days after the CBS host took to Twitter to issue a statement in support of her husband immediately following the New Yorker report, Chen smiled and waved to The Talk’s studio audience as the opening credits rolled. Chen then looked into the camera to tell at-home viewers she would not be speaking about the topic ever again.
“Some of you may be aware of what’s going on in my life the past few days. I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter, and I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
While her statement prompted a round of applause from the audience, Julie Chen’s brief comment about the bombshell CBS news rubbed some viewers the wrong way. Viewers flocked to social media to question why The Talk didn’t address the allegations against Moonves in a roundtable discussion the way they have for similar Hollywood scandals.
Others shaded Chen and the other Talk co-hosting panel, which includes Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne, for being “hypocritical” after being outspoken supporters of women who’ve suffered abuse in the workplace.
You can see Julie Chen’s statement on The Talk and some tweets in response to it below.
Wow @JulieChen @thetalk @cbs #juliechen #LesMoonves They all trash every man on the show, before all the evidence comes out. Will not watch this hypocritical show anymore. She even stated that she would leave #billcosby if she was married to him. #Hypocrites #Metoomovement pic.twitter.com/7ciBN4EBWW— Jessica Wray (@JessicaWray77) July 30, 2018
Straight hypocrisy by Julie Chen right now. If any other dude in the industry is accused of sexual assault or harassment moving forward, #TheTalk better not even bring it up. Just keep it moving! If you can’t talk about your husband, don’t talk about anyone else’s. Period.— Matthew Hailes (@Matthew_202) July 30, 2018
#TheTalk Huge cop out @JulieChen If it had been literally any other Studio Head, it would have dominated the first half of the show. If you're not willing to discuss issues that affect you, it is pretty hypocritical to have anything to say about anyone else.— distantThunder (@bolts6629) July 30, 2018
GURLL BYE ???? how dare you talk down on bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein but as soon as it’s concerning you you’d rather ignore the truth. It’s sad— what u need 2 hear (@Waitedandebated) July 30, 2018
Chen who shares son Charlie, 8, with Moonves, previously described her husband as a “devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader.” But Farrow’s exposé painted a much less flattering picture of the CBS executive, with statements about his alleged bad behavior from six women that date back two decades. Moonves issued a statement apologizing for some of his past actions but reiterated that he never used his position of power to hinder anyone’s career.
The allegations against Moonves come as CBS’s board engages in a legal battle with Shari Redstone, CBS and Viacom’s controlling shareholder who wants to merge the two companies. Chen’s The Talk co-star Sharon Osbourne questioned “the timing” of the allegations against Moonves as she offered support to the high-profile CBS couple.
The Talk airs weekdays on CBS.