Julie Chen‘s decision to sign off of last Thursday’s Big Brother with a not-so-subtle declaration of support for her disgraced husband Les Moonves is going to make it next to impossible for her to resume her day job on CBS’ The Talk, per multiple insiders (not to mention one of Chen’s daytime rivals).
“I think it’s going to be hard for her to go back to The Talk,” said The View‘s Joy Behar on Friday’s show. “What topics can they do? They can’t talk about the #MeToo movement without her coming clean about her husband.”
Moonves, CBS’ longtime CEO, was fired on Sept. 9 after a second wave of sexual misconduct allegations came to light. The next day, Chen announced that she “was taking a few days off from The Talk to be with my family,” adding, “I will be back soon and will see you Thursday night on Big Brother.” Chen did indeed return to Big Brother, but she ended the episode by telling viewers, “I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Good night.” (WATCH VIDEO HERE.)
Her non-traditional sign-off drew widespread condemnation on social media, with director Judd Apatow lamenting via Twitter that it was “cruel” to Moonves’ many victims. “Her husband threatened people and ruined careers,” Apatow added. “He sexually assaulted and harassed people… Maybe the shock and fear of her husband has damaged her and she isn’t seeing clearly — yet.” Actress Rosanna Arquette added, “At first I felt sorry for her and her child. But this is not OK.”
Chen’s Talk co-hosts awkwardly discussed their longtime leader’s absence last Monday, with Sharon Osbourne confessing, “It’s very embarrassing and upsetting to have to talk about [Julie’s] husband, but… we feel it’s right.” Regarding Moonves, Osbourne maintained, “Obviously the man has a problem.” Sara Gilbert also chimed in, saying that while she loves and supports Chen “always,” before adding, “This is an important time in our culture. And just because this hits close to home, it doesn’t change this story. All women’s stories matter. This is very serious and the appropriate actions need to take place.”
As of now, CBS is not commenting on whether Chen will return to The Talk on Monday. How do you see this cliffhanger playing out? Vote in the poll below and then elaborate in the comments.