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Big Brother host Julie Chen is in a tricky situation at CBS due to current events surrounding husband Les Moonves. The former CBS boss was ousted from the network after sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against him. Although he denies these allegations, he did leave CBS behind (and possibly got a large amount of money out of the deal to depart). Julie Chen did not leave CBS, however, where she's an institution as the longtime face of Big Brother and a moderator of The Talk. Many have wondered whether Moonves' ousting would prompt Chen to take action, and the latest episode of Big Brother revealed how she decided to go about it. Here's how she signed off the live episode:
Now, if you're not a regular viewer of Big Brother, Chen's sign-off probably didn't strike you as anything especially noteworthy. Many women take their husband's name after they marry, and it's not exactly a secret that she and the former CBS boss were married. Big Brother fans know differently, however, as this marked the first time Chen added the "Moonves" to her name when she signed off an episode. By adding her husband's name to her own as she ended the Big Brother broadcast, she showed support without calling too much attention to herself or her situation. Notably, this live episode of Big Brother marked her return to CBS in front of the camera since her husband's ousting. She has been absent from The Talk.
A big question now is whether Julie Chen intends to make a stand for her husband at CBS or if this was simply her way of showing support. Many Big Brother fans have been concerned that she would leave the show in response to the end of Les Moonves' time at the network. Her comment at the end of the live episode didn't necessarily indicate that she's going to make any sudden career moves in the wake of her husband's scandal, but it may be a sign that she doesn't intend to stay 100% quiet on the matter. She seems to be standing by her husband; will she stand by her network?
Julie Chen's comment certainly didn't go unnoticed on social media. Twitter users en masse shared their thoughts on her "Julie Chen Moonves" sign-off, with reactions ranging from shocked to amused to entertained. Here's just one example:
In what may be a sign that Julie Chen knew that she was making a bold move by adopting "Moonves" in her sign-off, she actually made a mistake shortly before she bid viewers goodnight. Chen accidentally referred to Brett Robinson as "Brent." The mistake -- while minor -- seems to me like a sign that she had decided to support her husband at the end of the episode well ahead of time and had steeled herself for the moment.
In case you're undecided about that final moment, take a look at the video for yourself:
New episodes of Big Brother air on Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET as well as Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Only time will tell if Julie Chen's mention of "Moonves" as part of her name was part of a grand plan for her career at CBS or merely a way to support her husband without losing professionalism.