Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Julie Chen Thinks She’s in “A Star is Born,” Signs off “Big Brother” Calling Herself “Julie Chen Moonves”


Julie Chen has watched “A Star is Born” too many times.

At the end of the Judy Garland version, Esther– mourning the death of her husband Norman Maine– famously introduces herself to an audience by saying “My name is Mrs. Norman Maine” instead of her stage name Vicky Lester.

At the conclusion of tonight’s “Big Brother,” on CBS, Julie Chen, married to now former CBS chief Les Moonves, signed off by saying “I’m Julie Chen Moonves.”

It was a sign of solidarity with her embattled husband, who’s been ousted from CBS after many charges of sexual harassment and misconduct. Les’s ending is like a Greek tragedy, worse even than Harvey Weinstein’s. It also brought down “60 Minutes” chief Jeff Fager. It revealed a culture at CBS under Moonves that has already caused “Designing Women” producer Linda Bloodworth Thomason to reveal her awful experiences. There will be more to come.

Chen is in a precarious position. Les created “The Talk” for her to host as a competitor to “The View” on ABC. Now Chen is on what she calls a brief break while CBS figures out how they can bring her back. Her co-hosts have piled on Les like crazy. Chen obviously didn’t know (I’m guessing) the extent of Les’s shenanigans. But what happens when a guest brings up sexual harassment?

Chen is also likely in some kind of shock right now. She and Les were the King and Queen of CBS. What’s happened to them is traumatic, sort of like what happened to Nicholas and Alexandra when the tsars were overthrown. But she’s got a contract. It includes “Big Brother,” which she could still host since it’s basically vapid fun.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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