Julie Chen Moonves reveals why she changed her last name


While Julie Chen Moonves has achieved great success on her own terms, she was steadfast in giving up her professional name in solidarity with her husband. She was surprised by the response. Big Brother audience by signing off the Sept. 13 episode with her married name shortly after her husband, Leslie Moonves, stepped down as CBS Corp. CEO in 2018.

Chen Moonves was able to recall making the spontaneous transformation during a live show.”I made the change on the fly on a live show in the spur of the moment,”Chen Moonves told Deadline. “I didn’t tell anybody. I was like toying with it, and I remember my heart racing while I thought, ‘am I gonna do it?’ It just became a moment.”

She used her maiden name. Big Brother Since 2000, Chen Moonves’ husband has been shocked by her sudden departure via camera. “I think he was just like, what happened?”She retold. “When I married my husband, I chose not to take the name because I thought it could be seen as an unfair advantage. It was a powerful, popular name to have. And I had made my own career prior to knowing him. So I wanted to keep that. And then when his name was getting dragged through the mud, I thought this is the time to make my stand and to let the world know who I am. And it was a sign of support for my husband. I know him. And he is a good man.”

In an exclusive July 6 interview, she talks to Deadline, Chen Moonves also discussed the Black alliance that culminated in Xavier Prather becoming Big Brother’s first Black winner and what’s next for the show. Chen Moonves stated that she had received feedback after Prather’s win last season. “from all ends. I heard, ‘congratulations, this is historic.’ I heard, ‘this is racist.’ People see what they want to see. But at the end of the day, the right guy won. Xavier had everything it took to win. He won challenges, and he knew how to keep a secret, and he kept the peace,”She elaborated. 

“It was incredible, and it was about time, and it was fantastic,” Chen Moonves continued. “I was happy the way it turned out. I know the show can get silly, it can get super goofy. But at the same time, suddenly, you have a season that’s such a game-changer. It was very uplifting, and it was very hopeful.” 

“It gave me hope because we saw within the Cookout that not all of them got along or agreed with how people were playing the game. There were times that people were not completely loyal to the Cookout. They tried to go into business for themselves. And that came back to bite them. You saw people who maybe didn’t see eye to eye on gameplay and personalities come together for the greater good because they knew that they had to. They rose [to] the occasion. That was quite an accomplishment.”

Reality-television host, who revealed that the pandemic still affects CBS, said that the show decided not to return to live viewers at the very last moment. “We are going to try again some point later in the season,”Chen Moonves spoke.

The TV personality revealed that she had also lobbied for a season Big Brother with all winners, “going back to season one when the rules were very different, and the public voted people out. I don’t know if all these past winners can give a whole month of their time because a lot of them are parents now,”Chen Moonves has been added. 

“But I do think if we did it like a celebrity version where it’s like three weeks of past winners — that might be good for the winter. I think everyone would be game, but we almost have too many people! We have 24 seasons. We could have almost two versions of it.”The new season of Big Brother 24 will premiere on CBS at 8 p.m. on July 6.

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