Sherri Shepherd Says Talk Show Return Does Not Cross WGA Picket Line: ‘I Stand in Solidarity With My Union’

Sherri Shepherd attempts to clear any confusion regarding The “Sherri” show’s return amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes in her Season 2 return on Monday.

The actress and comedian opened the show addressing the controversy, telling viewers that the talk show is not in violation of the guild’s strike rules by returning despite other shows like “The Talk” and “The Drew Barrymore Show” going on pause shortly after announcing their returns. Jennifer Hudson’s talk show has also been placed on hold after previously announcing a Sept. 18 return.

More from Variety

“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,” the actress shared.

She continued: “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.”

As it stands, “Sherri” is the only daytime talk show to come back aside from “The Tamron Hall Show” and “Live with Kelly and Mark” — both of which, are also not WGA shows. SAG-AFTRA members are allowed to work on talk shows as they’re covered by the Network TV Code. “The View,” which is a WGA is currently still airing and has been picketed by the guild.

“As a comic, my comedic take on the headlines is my voice. I write the jokes. I’m the writer …Producers help me shape my words. That’s why we don’t have WGA writers at ‘Sherri,'” Shepherd explained. “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.”

“I stand in solidarity with my union,” shepherd says, addressing several of the union’s issues in contention right now including residuals and A.I.

“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,” she shared. “And the big sticking point is Artificial Intelligence – which could replace working actors from working. And it couldl replace writers. I’m here to tell you, A.I. can’t replace all of this sass.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.