Amid Hollywood’s dual writer and actor strikes, returning daytime talk shows have been a contentious issue.
Sherri premiered its second season today, Monday September 18 and Shepherd addressed the writers and actors strikes on her first show back.
Shepherd pointed out the difference between her show and others: it has never employed any WGA writers.
“This summer you all may have seen your favorite actors and Hollywood stars have been on the picket lines with the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. There has been so much confusion about who can work and who can’t work. Well, I’m a SAG-AFTRA actress and I actually marched with some of my colleagues while in Los Angeles recently. That’s me with Viola Davis, Niecy Nash,” she said. “But here’s the thing, talk shows in general fall under a different union contract code, so we’re allowed to come back unless you’re a WGA show. The Sherri show is not a WGA show and we have never employed WGA writers, so us coming back to work isn’t crossing the picket line.”
She highlighted that she writes the jokes on her show and it is her “comedic take on the headlines”.
Shepherd empathized with those writers and actors striking. “My heart is breaking for all of the people that can’t work right now and I hope our industry can get this strike resolved soon,” she added. “I stand in solidarity with my union. One of the things that we’re fighting for is better residuals. … residuals during times that I was not working kept the lights on. My residual payments helped me care for Jeffrey when he was born at 25 weeks. So good residual payments are important to actors.”
The host also highlighted the issue of artificial intelligence. “The big sticking point is artificial intelligence – which could replace working actors from working. And it could replace writers. I’m here to tell you, AI can’t replace all of this sass.”
The show comes from Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury and is anchored by Fox Television Stations as well as stations belonging to Cox, Hearst, Sinclair, Nexstar and others. It took the place of The Wendy Williams Show and is filmed before a live studio audience in New York’s Chelsea Studios.