If Julie Chen supports her husband, she can’t return to ‘The Talk,’ say ‘The View’ hosts, others

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With her sign-off from “Big Brother” Thursday night, Julie Chen made it clear she’s standing by her disgraced husband Leslie Moonves

At the end of the show, Chen said, “From outside the Big Brother house . . . I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Goodnight.”

But with this apparent declaration of support for a man accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and assault, questions heated up Friday across TV and social media about Chen’s future at CBS, where she also co-hosts the daytime chat show “The Talk.”

“I think it’s going to be hard for her to go back to ‘The Talk,’” said Joy Behar, co-host of “The Talk’s” ABC’s rival “The View.”

Many on Twitter agreed. One person wrote, “She really is proud to be married to (an alleged) sexual abuser. Julie girl, you are officially cancelled.”

Thursday marked Chen’s highly anticipated return to CBS, just days after her husband, the network’s chairman and chief executive, was forced to resign after the New Yorker reported on additional women coming forward to accuse Moonves of forced oral sex, exposing himself and retaliating against women who rejected his advances.

Chen’s sign-off was widely seen as some kind of endorsement of her husband, given that it appears she has only been known to refer to herself as “Julie Chen” on “Big Brother” since the show’s debut in 2000, The Washington Post reported.

Chen also has continued to refer to herself as “Julie Chen” in other professional contexts, even after marrying Moonves in 2004, The Post added. Moreover, she kicked off Thursday’s episode by saying “Good evening, I’m Julie Chen. Welcome to double eviction night!”

Chen hasn’t made an appearance on “The Talk” since Moonves’ ouster. On Monday, she announced that she was taking a few days off to be with her family.

That left it to her co-host Sharon Osbourne with the uncomfortable task of announcing Moonves’ departure on Monday’s episode, while also saying “These stories are so similar, the pattern is so similar. … He’s not been convicted of any crime, but obviously the man has a problem.”

Chen’s other co-host Sara Gilbert joined in voicing support for Chen personally. But Gilbert then said, “This is an important time in our culture, and just because this hits close to home, it doesn’t change the story. All women’s stories, and these women’s stories, matter. This is very serious, and the appropriate actions need to take place.”

Could “appropriate actions” include Chen being asked to step away from her job on “The Talk?” After all, she and other hosts often are called on to share tidbits about their personal lives while also addressing hot topics in the news. And one of the past year’s hot topics on “The Talk” and elsewhere has been the #MeToo movement.

“What topics can they do?” Behar continued on “The View,” reported Toofab.com

“They can’t talk about the #MeToo movement without her coming clean about her husband,” Behar said, also saying it would be hard for Chen to join in discussions about shows like “Real Housewives” or topics that are relationship related.

Behar’s colleague Sunny Hostin referred to Osborne’s remark about Moonves having “a problem.” Hostin asked, “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?”

On Tuesday, Deadline agreed with Behar and Hostin’s comments that it would be hard for “The Talk” to tackle any new #MeToo developments or similar stories “without maximum awkwardness with Chen at the table.”

But Deadline also noted some might see it as unfair to expect Chen to lose work because of her husband’s alleged misconduct. “Moving her off the show smacks of punishing a wife for her husband’s alleged sexual affronts,” Deadline wrote.

Many on Twitter don’t see it any fairness issues with asking Chen to step down from “The Talk.”

That’s because of the perception among some that she may have known about the allegations against Moonves while continuing to report on the #MeToo downfalls of Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby.

One entertainment publicist, who said he represents one of Moonves’ accusers, tweeted that he would recommend that his clients stay away from “The Talk” as long as Chen remains on the show.