Shortly after becoming one of the only daytime talk show host to return for the fall amid the Hollywood strikes, Sherri Shepherd has tested positive for COVID and will pause production on “Sherri.”
“Unfortunately, Sherri has tested positive for COVID. The show will return with original episodes as soon as possible,” said a statement posted to the show’s Instagram page. “For the remainder of this week, encore episodes from the beginning of the premiere week will air. The health of our host and entire staff is of the utmost importance.”
The post also included a statement from Shepherd: “I am absolutely heartbroken that I cannot return to host my show this week,” she said. “As soon as I get the all-clear from my doctor, I look forward to coming back strong to deliver the fun, laughter and a real good time.”
“Sherri” returned for a new season on Monday. Unlike “The Drew Barrymore Show,” which received major backlash for announcing its return before reversing that decision, “Sherri” is not covered by the WGA, and because talk shows operate under the SAG-AFTRA Network Code, separate from the contract that covers scripted shows, actors are permitted to continue their hosting duties during the strike. “The Tamron Hall Show” and “Live with Kelly and Mark” have also returned for the fall, though some daytimers in similar positions, such as “The Jennifer Hudson Show” and “The Talk” have still pushed back their originally scheduled premieres. “The View” has also been airing throughout the strike, though the production has been picketed as the show does employ WGA writers.
“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,” Shepherd said on Monday’s show. “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.”