CBS Chief Cuts Wife’s Salary for Celebrity ‘Big Brother’

Leslie Moonves made his wife, Julie Chen, take a paycut for the show's new celebrity edition.

September 14, 2017 12:02 pm
Leslie Moonves, left, and Julie Chen arrive at the Wolfgang Puck's Post-Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony Celebration at Spago on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, CA. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

CBS recently announced the first U.S. celebrity version of Big Brother. But another interesting headline is that veteran host Julie Chen told The Hollywood Reporter that her husband, CBS chief Leslie Moonves, forced her into taking a pay cut because of the edition’s shorter run.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chen said that Moonves came home one day and said in a very “Godfather, mafioso-style” way that she needed to tell her lawyer (who is actually Moonves’ brother) there was not going to be a negotiation because “this is what the deal is and you’re going to accept it.” Moonves doesn’t think Chen should make her normal salary because this version of the show is significantly shorter than the typical 90-plus-day summer broadcast of Big Brother. 

Moonves also said that everyone was getting a bit of a pay cut because it is the only “way it will make sense financially.” The show will require less work and time from Chen and the celebrities she hopes to bring on. The schedule has not yet been announced. However, even though the version is shorter, you can still view the 24/7 unfiltered live feed.

Chen told The Hollywood Reporter that she would love to get Sean Spicer and Melissa McCarthy on the show, though she knows that probably won’t happen. Other dream guests would be Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg, Tonya Harding and Andy Cohen.

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