Sherri Shepherd is making it clear that the return of her daytime talk show won’t cross any picket lines.
The host of Sherri spoke about the strike during her first episode since the SAG-AFTRA strike began in July and the WGA strike in May — the latter a move that effectively closed a few talk shows earlier than planned last spring, as writers called for better working conditions, benefits and employment conditions. for studios to tackle issues like the creeping presence of artificial intelligence.
“This summer, you all may have seen your favorite actors and Hollywood stars on the picket lines during the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes,” she told the audience on Monday’s episode. “There is so much confusion about who can and who cannot work. Well, I’m a SAG-AFTRA actress and I recently tagged along with some of my colleagues while I was in Los Angeles.
After sharing photos of herself with fellow SAG-AFTRA members like Viola Davis and Niecy Nash on the picket lines, Shepherd further explained how her show was able to return — even as hosts like Drew Barrymore, Bill Maher and Jennifer Hudson walked back to their show. planned return amid the ongoing work stoppage. While these shows were able to return under SAG-AFTRA strike rules, they crossed the picket line of the WGA strike, the nuance of which Shepherd explains.
“Talk shows generally 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’ve never hired WGA writers, so when we go back to work we won’t cross the picket line,” she said.
One of the biggest criticisms of the now deleted returns from Real time, The conversation, The Jennifer Hudson Show And The Drew Barrymore Show – as well as the continued broadcast of The view, a WGA-covered show, has focused on each production’s plan to avoid crossing picket lines. (SAG-AFTRA’s talk shows are under a different contract than those currently with the performers’ union, which allows hosts to continue working.)
Most public statements denied that their respective series would use WGA writers, which would technically not violate strike rules. But the WGA and its union members made it clear that those programs would still need writing services and that anyone — such as a producer, host or non-union writer — who took over those services in the absence of WGA writers would be in trouble .
In her opening, Shepherd explains how her show takes a similar approach to the one proposed, but as a non-WGA talk show. “As a comic character, my comedic take on headlines is my voice. I write the jokes. I am the writer,” she said. “Producers help me shape my words. That’s why we don’t have WGA writers at Sherri.”
She concluded her statement by highlighting key issues in the SAG-AFTRA attack, including the use of artificial intelligence and residuals. “I stand in solidarity with my union,” she said. “My heart breaks for all the people who cannot work right now and I hope that our sector can resolve this strike quickly.”
Sherri would return to TV on Monday, along with new episodes of The Drew Barrymore Show, The Jennifer Hudson Show And The conversation. After Barrymore faced swift backlash for an Instagram video in which she defended the return of her show during the WGA strike, she released a statement on Sunday apologizing and announcing that she had reversed course. Similar statements from the other two daytime shows, as well as Bill Maher’s late night talk show, followed on Sunday and early Monday.