The Dancing With the Stars judge replaced Julie Chen Moonves on The Talk’s panel in 2019. In April, Inaba announced she was , citing her decision to focus on her health. Inaba was diagnosed with , and previously told People that the experience can “sometimes feel quite lonely.”
"When I first got diagnosed, some encouraged me to keep my struggles to myself, but I've found that it's always been better to be honest about my needs and realities than to stay silent,” she explained. “I believe strongly in sharing my journey, my solutions, and the things that have helped me with anyone who could use it — this is how communities are formed."
On August 20, she shared that what was once a temporary leave of absence had become permanent. Smiling in her Instagram Story, Inaba said, “Today’s daily essential is this: ‘Live in gratitude, for all that is, was, and will be.’ And with that thought, I want to announce that today The Talk, CBS, and I have mutually agreed to part ways. I just want to say that I’m filled with gratitude for this experience and this chapter of my life that has been The Talk.”
She added that she has built “lifelong friendships,” shared “incredible experiences,” and had “wonderful discussions” during her time on the daytime program.
Inaba also thanked her co-hosts and everyone working behind the scenes, who she “loves.”
“With love and gratitude and respect, I wish you guys the best,” she concluded. “To a great season ahead, and to all of you who have supported me through this time, thank you so much. It’s been amazing, and I’ll see you very soon.”
In an official statement, Inaba said of her exit, “I enjoyed my time at The Talk as co-host and moderator and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to grow with the entire Talk family as well as truly connect with viewers on such a personal level. I will miss The Talk, but I am excited for the next chapter both for myself and for the show.”’
Inaba’s leave of absence comes on the heels of following controversial comments she made about her friend Piers Morgan’s criticism of Meghan Markle, as well as accusations that in the past towards some of her co-hosts. Whether the show will find someone to permanently replace Inaba remains to be seen.