Julie Chen skipped Monday’s episode of The Talk — but her fellow panelists dove into the controversy surrounding her husband, Leslie Moonves, anyway.
At the top of Monday’s telecast of the CBS daytime chat show, panelist Sharon Osbourne announced that Chen was taking time off from the show to be with her family. The move comes in the wake of Moonves being ousted as CBS Corp. CEO amid a new round of sexual misconduct allegations.
Osbourne then revealed that her statement in July in support of Moonves, “the most powerful man in TV,” after he was originally accused, was at the behest of somebody else.
“I was asked a couple of months ago to make a statement supporting Leslie which I felt I was diplomatic as I could be with the statement that I made,” Osbourne said. “But now after seven more women have come out, the stories are so similar, the pattern is so similar that for me — he’s not been convicted of any crime but obviously the man has a problem. And I like to say that Mr. Moonves has stepped down. He’s an extremely wealthy man. And good luck to him, he’s worked hard. He made this network No. 1. However, when a new regime comes into a company they sweep clean. Everyone at CBS is nervous about their jobs … historically when somebody new comes in, things change. I care about the producers, the crew and as Mr. Moonves would say, the little people … I don’t care if it happened 20 years ago but somebody who breaks somebody’s life like that has to accountable … why is it that when men get power, it goes to their testicles?”
Osbourne then said to the panel, “Anybody else have anything to say? Throw me a bone.”
“I agree, Julie is our friend,” added panelist Sara Gilbert. “This is our ninth season. I love her and support her always. However, this is an important time in our culture just because this hits close to home it doesn’t change this story. All women stories matter and these women’s stories matter. This is very serious and the appropriate actions need to take place. I’m happy when women are heard because for a long time they haven’t been.”
Then Eve jumped in. “This is ridiculously difficult,” she said. “We’ve talked about other instances with other people and it’s easy to say how you feel….I just echo the same. I support Julie. I’m praying for her and her family and sending her strength. It’s really, really hard. I hope and pray that we get to a place where we don’t have to talk about this anymore, where women are equal, where these stories won’t have to happen anymore.
And Sheryl Underwood had this to say: “The Julie Chen I know is very strong. But I think it’s a blessing from God to be unburdened from secrets and unchained from lies. Now is the time for everyone to look inside themselves and be better people … and women should not feel they have to have to carry secrets and burdens and lives destroyed and they don’t have equal opportunity and feel there is a safe place to say something has happened to me. And also men don’t feel they can stand up and say ‘I had a problem and I need to go get help and turn myself in.’ If this was just all brought out in the open so that problems could be solved and lies not destroyed and jobs not at risk. I know a lot of people say I lean on my faith, but I’m thanking God for today … Women are carrying this around and then you wonder why I can’t get a job and why things can’t happen. Today we say ‘enough is enough’…Do better with your life and never come back to this day again.”
“Woo that was tough,” Osbourne added.
It’s not clear when Chen will be back on The Talk. In a statement, Chen noted she will resume her Big Brother hosting duties on Thursday night.