Julie Chen got social media buzzing Thursday when she made her first appearance on TV since the ouster of her husband, Leslie Moonves, as head of CBS last weekend.
Chen, who has been absent from her daily role on CBS' "The Talk" since her husband's removal, returned as host of her other CBS show, "Big Brother."
CBS announced Moonves, the company's chairman and CEO, was out on Sunday, just hours after The New Yorker published a story that featured six women making allegations that included forced oral sex; physical violence and efforts to damage careers. It was the second New Yorker story in less than two months featuring misconduct allegations against Moonves. Moonves has called the allegations "untrue."
On Thursday, Chen didn't talk about Moonves or his departure from CBS during the reality competition, but her show of spousal support in the sign-off got everyone's attention.
As she closed the show after speaking with Brett Robinson, who was evicted from the Big Brother house, Chen said: "From outside the Big Brother house … I'm Julie Chen Moonves. Good night."
Chen has been married to Moonves since 2004, but she is identified on both "The Talk" and "Big Brother" as Julie Chen.
"Big Brother" viewers noticed Chen's self-identification and took to Twitter to comment. Justin Hinton thought the one-word addition was a bombshell. "Now THAT was a statement … I've NEVER heard her say "Moonves" for anything."
The sign-off elicited plenty of surprise GIFs, too, including one from Ryan Moyer. "Oh, damn."
Stephanie offered a shocked Dr. Phil take to accompany her comment: "SIS DID NOT JUST."