Sherri Shepherd on Why Her Show Returned During Strikes

Sherri Shepherd is clearing the air about her daytime talk show and the ongoing Hollywood strikes.

During this week’s season 2 premiere of Sherri, Shepherd explained why production on her show resumed, despite the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

“This summer you all may have seen your favorite actors and Hollywood stars on the picket lines with the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes,” Shepherd said, Shepherd said in her opening comments on Sept. 18.

She continued, “There’s 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.”

Related: Drew Barrymore Reverses Decision to Bring Talk Show Back During Strikes: ‘I Have Listened’

After showing photos of herself marching with Viola Davis and Niecy Nash, Shepherd went on to clarify the difference betwee talk show and a program like The Drew Barrymore Show, which drew criticism when the actress initially announced its return last week.

“Here’s the thing, talk shows in general fall under a different union contract code, so we are allowed to come back unless you’re a WGA show,” she explained. “The Sherri show is not a WGA show. We have never employed WGA writers, so us coming back to work isn’t crossing the picket line.”

The Drew Barrymore Show, meanwhile, has employed WGA writers in the past — meaning that many considered the show’s return to be crossing the picket line.

In response to the criticism, Barrymore backtracked on her decision, announcing that she would not return to the air and offering an apology to her viewers.

Shepherd also voiced her support for the ongoing strikes during her season premiere, discussing the importance of bargaining issues like residuals and the use of artificial intelligence.

“My heart is breaking for all of the people that cannot work right now and I hope that our industry can get this strike resolved soon,” she said. “I stand in solidarity with my union.”

“One of the things that we are fighting for is better residuals,” she continued. “When I was going through time when I didn’t work, residuals kept the lights on. They helped me pay my bills. My residual payments came into play when my son Jeffrey was born at 25 weeks. Those residual payments, along with insurance, helped me. So good residual payments are important to actors.”

You can watch Sherri Shepherd’s opening monologue for season 2 premiere of her talk show below.

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