After her husband, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, was accused of sexual misconduct by six women last week in an extensive New Yorker exposé, Julie Chen opened Monday’s episode of The Talk (which airs on CBS) to address the allegations.
“Some of you may be aware of what has been going on in my life for the past few days,” Chen said, staring straight into the camera. “I have 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.”
Chen — who hosts both The Talk and Big Brother on CBS — previously had tweeted out support for her husband in a post Friday that read, “I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement. , which also goes on to suggest how the network maintains a testosterone-fueled culture where “everything feels old, the people, the furniture, the culture, the mores.”
With The Talk airing a pre-taped episode that day, the question became if and how Chen would address the allegations when the show returned on Monday. That question has now been answered. The segment comes two days after longtime The Talk co-host Sharon Osbourne tweeted support as well, writing, “Interesting timing, seems like an attempt to discredit Leslie before a major court case. I hope people don’t rush to judgement [sic] and let @CBS conduct their investigation. Sending my love and support to my friends @JulieChen and Leslie Moonves.”
Chen’s on-air comments also arrive after Moonves released a statement that read: “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our Company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected – and abided by the principle – that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”
CBS, which said Friday before the article’s publication that it was committed to “investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard,” also released a statement: “CBS is very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously. We do not believe, however, that the picture of our Company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect. We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution to those important issues.”