‘The Talk’: Why Did Julie Chen Leave The Daytime TV Show?

Julie Chen is a news anchor, producer, and television show host, a mainstay in the entertainment business for decades. As the longtime host of Big Brother, many fans grew up with Chen, with viewers of all ages relating to her warmth and enthusiasm.

Another one of Chen’s high-profile projects was the daytime television show The Talk, where she hosted for eight seasons before leaving the show under a cloud of scandal. To this day, fans wonder why Chen decided to leave so suddenly, and what she’s up to these days. 

How did Julie Chen become famous?

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Chen was born in New York City in 1970, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She discovered an early interest in broadcasting and the arts and went on to attend the University of Southern California.

She graduated from college in 1991, dual majoring in broadcasting journalism and English. Before she graduated, Chen already had her first position, as an intern at CBS Morning News. Chen’s tireless work ethic impressed everyone around her, and she quickly rose in the rank at the station.

In the years after her college graduation, Chen had a variety of jobs, from desk assistant to local news reporter. In 1999, she became the anchor of CBS Morning News, the same show that she interned for years earlier.

In 2000, Chen became the host of the television reality show Big Brother, a position that she retains to this day, after returning from a brief hiatus. While Chen has sometimes been criticized for her on-air delivery, with some claiming that the host is too “wooden” in her manner of speaking, others have related to her genuine humor and precise language. 

Julie Chen is well known for her tenure on ‘The Talk’

Julie Chen
Julie Chen | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

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In 2010, Chen joined the cast of the brand-new daytime television series The Talk. The show featured Chen, and a panel of other talented, high-profile women, debating the issues of the day in an informal setting. For eight seasons, Chen was a mainstay on the show, chatting easily with her co-hosts, as well as the guests that were invited to appear on the show.

Unfortunately, 2018 was a difficult year for Chen, and after a sexual harassment scandal broke involving her husband, high-powered television executive Les Moonves, Chen had a tough decision to make. 

Why did Julie Chen leave ‘The Talk’?

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In late 2018, Chen announced that she was stepping down as one of the hosts of The Talk. In a statement on the show, Chen revealed: “I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son, so I’ve decided to leave The Talk. I have been at The Talk since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast crew and staff have become family to me over the years.”

While Chen’s statement seemed to hint that she was ready to spend more time with her family, it was widely reported by media outlets like Us Weekly that the real reason Chen stepped away was that she was feeling the pressure of her husband’s sexual assault allegations. Chen was replaced at the table by Carrie Ann Inaba, and The Talk resumed as if nothing had ever happened.

As for Chen, while she might have stepped away from The Talk, after a brief hiatus, she returned as the host of Big Brother and seems to have left the scandal behind her.