Carrie Ann Inaba is "not returning" to co-host "The Talk" and execs are instead looking to fill her empty seat with a man, according to a report.
There has been speculation that Inaba was ready to quit the CBS talk show after she announced in April a leave of absence to focus on her "wellbeing" and sources have now told Page Six that she is out of the show.
"They haven’t announced it, but Carrie Ann is not returning, and they’ve been trying out comics and athletes to take her place," an insider said.
When she announced her hiatus, Inaba, who suffers from multiple autoimmune disorders, said on Instagram that she needed to take time to focus on her health. She wrote of her hopes to return to the show soon, promising to keep fans updated on her health however, since then Inaba has been elusive.
When CBS announced in June the show's Season 12 renewal, Inaba did not reveal whether or not she would return. A source told Page Six that the onscreen heated debate between Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood left her feeling uncomfortable.
"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 insider claimed.
Another source previously told The Sun that Inaba had been clashing with Underwood and was "ready to quit" the show.
"Carrie Ann and Sheryl do not like each other," the source said. "They have faked it on air, but Sheryl has a hot and cold energy, and made Carrie Ann's job very difficult."
The Sun's source added that there had been a struggle for power taking place behind the scenes since Osbourne left, which had Inaba reconsidering her options.
"Now that Sheryl has seized power of the show, the thought of being there makes her physically sick," the insider said. "She is a smart businesswoman and believes that her role is being diminished right in front of her eyes."
While reports of potential male replacements have emerged in recent days, another source told Page Six nothing had been set in stone yet.
"It’s 50/50. Everyone wants her back," the insider noted. "No decisions have been made."
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