Julie Chen has not issued an official statement on her husband Les Moonves’ fall from CBS, but her Big Brother sign-off last week said it all. The longtime host of Big Brother and The Talk made a declaration of support for her husband by announcing herself as “Julie Chen Moonves” in the final seconds of the live CBS broadcast. It was the first time Chen ever used her married name on the CBS reality show in her 18 years of hosting it.
Now, multiple insiders say it will be nearly impossible for Chen to return to her day job on The Talk, according to TV Line. CBS is also not commenting on whether Chen will return to The Talk on Monday alongside co-hosts Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, Sheryl Underwood, and Eve, who have been helming the chatfest for the past week in her absence.
After Moonves stepped down from CBS last weekend amid scathing sexual misconduct allegations from 12 women, Chen announced in a statement that she would be “taking a few days off” from The Talk to be with her family, but that she would be back “soon.” The longtime CBS host missed the season 9 premiere of The Talk, but she promised she’d be back in the studio for Thursday’s Big Brother. That happened—and so did her first-ever sign-off outside the Big Brother house as “Julie Chen Moonves.”
Julie Chen might not have directly addressed the allegations against her husband, Les Moonves on Thursday night’s Big Brother—but she did find one way to indirectly signal her support https://t.co/2RFfoJW0D8— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) September 14, 2018
While CBS is not talking, several celebrities and journalists have already weighed in on Chen’s potential return to The Talk and the general consensus seems to be that it will be impossible for her to do so.
On The View, Joy Behar said it will be “hard” for Chen to return to The Talk after her not-so-subtle message that she’s standing by her man. Behar questioned how Chen could continue to sit on the CBS panel and talk about the #MeToo movement and other timely topics when her husband is now a part of the news, and she said Chen would have to “come clean” about the scandal before she could ever resume her post on the Emmy-winning CBS talk show.
The View co-host Sunny Hostin agreed, adding, “If someone says your husband has a problem, how do you then go back and sit next to that person who made this judgment call about your spouse?”
Blogger Perez Hilton tweeted, “Julie Chen just made her bed – and she remains laying in it with her husband, alleged serial abuser and fired CBS chief Les Moonves. It will be very interesting to see if she returns to The Talk next week.”
Journalist Katie Rosman tweeted, “I don’t see how Julie Chen returns to “The Talk” without being asked on air about the allegations made against her husband, Les Moonves, followed by his resignation. Answering for his behavior is not her responsibility, but still hard to imagine her and the show ignoring it.”
When the first wave of allegations about her husband came out in July, Julie Chen issued a statement on Twitter vowing that she will stand by him. She refused to talk about the scandal on The Talk, later telling viewers, “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 she didn’t address Mrs. Moonves’ status on the network directly, Chen’s own colleague Sharon Osbourne admitted ousted CBS exec Les Moonves “clearly has a problem.” She also admitted that it’s “very embarrassing and upsetting” to have to talk about Chen’s husband on-air, and later demanded transparency in CBS’ investigation of the network’s former president and CEO. Osbourne also said she thinks more women will be coming forward with accusations against Moonves, per The Blast.
The Talk airs weekdays on CBS.