Loyal fans of the ‘The Talk’ must have seen this coming, as Carrie Ann Inaba took an extended leave of absence in April 2021 citing personal health reasons.
There is speculation that her departure from the show which has garnered her a lot of popularity and fans, could be related to the health battles that have plagued her illustrious career. Over the years, she has dealt with issues ranging from poor vision, spinal stenosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, Sjögren syndrome, lupus, and the most recent in December 2020, when she tested positive for Covid-19.
Asides from health issues, her decision to leave the show she hosted for three seasons, was decided after having a gentleman’s agreement with the network. This comes after weeks of media outlets hinting that she planned to leave the show to focus on future projects.
After a bombshell story broke on August 16th from Page Six stating that the search for a replacement on “The Talk” was on, Inaba confirmed the rumors that she was leaving. The announcement was made in a series of Instagram videos
Details Of The Announcement
Although Inaba did not specify the exact reason for leaving, she stated it was a mutual agreement between herself and the show.
As she shared the news on the Instagram page, she wrote in part; “I have made beautiful and lifelong friendships, I have had so many unforgettable experiences, and I’ve learned so much from all the heartfelt and authentic discussions we’ve shared with you. It’s an honor to be part of your lives, and have a voice. My heart is full and content. I’m truly grateful for all that was, all that is (life is in perfection), and all that will be. To all my friends and family at (“The Talk”) I wish you a great season ahead!”
In a statement with ET, she said she was grateful for the experience but expectant about the new phase ahead. There were a lot of speculations about her next course of action, but one thing was sure— Inaba remained a judge on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” which was slated to begin its 30th season in the fall.
About Carrie Ann Inaba
Born to Rodney.Y. Inaba and Patty Inaba in Honolulu, Hawaii, she comes from a close-knit family with her mom, dad and her older sibling, Craig Inaba. She has Irish, Japanese, and Chinese ancestry, and grew up in a music-loving family, where her parents helped nurture her talent from a young age. They enrolled her in her first dance instruction class, Creative Movement at the age of three.
She schooled at Hanahaouli school and then Punahou school, during which she learned how to play the violin and piano while also singing in the choir. She joined the school volleyball team for a while before settling for a performing career.
On the big screens, Inaba co-starred in “Austin Powers: Goldmember” and “Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” She was also featured in “American Virgin” and “Monster Mash,” among her other credits. She started her journey with “The Talk” as a guest host in 2017, filled in for Julie Chen in the later parts of 2018, and eventually replaced her when the host left the show in September of the same year.
Moving On From Inaba
Following the host’s announcement to leave the show, there was no uproar online, just gratitude and deep respect for her.
“Carrie Ann’s authenticity and openness created a special connection and relationship with our audience,” Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews, executive producers of The Talk, said in a joint statement to Deadline.
However, what started the recent fire online, was a report from Page Six about a search for Inaba’s replacement. The news outlet alleged that the show would prefer a male host to add to its panelists.
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“After the incident, they brought in a diversity and inclusion agency to help repair the situation, and Carrie Ann openly griped that she was being punished for things while she was out. She returned to a new environment, and she also didn’t like that the show is starting to tackle more serious issues,” the source said. Names such as Jerry Cruz have been brought up in talks of a replacement.” the report mentioned.
A series of guest co-hosts had been filling in for Inaba since she went on leave and that arrangement might be expected to continue since it is unclear at the moment whether a permanent replacement will be named before the series resumes.
Who Will Replace Carrie Ann Inaba?
Although it was unclear who would replace Inaba or if she would to be replaced any time soon, there is a void on the show as her departure was quite a shake-up. The show is now down to four permanent co-hosts; Sheryl Underwood, Elaine Welteroth, Amanda Kloots, and Jerry O’Connell.
O’Connell joined the show as the first permanent male co-host to replace Sharon Osbourne, who exited the show after a controversial on-air exchange with Underwood after she defended her friend Piers Morgan who was accused of racist remarks.
In the heat of the argument, Osbourne asked Underwood, a black woman to shed more light on racism as she was the ignorant one. There were also allegations from former co-hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete who pointed out Osbourne’s racist comments off the air. Season 12 of the CBS show was slated to return in September after a summer hiatus.