It looks like Sherri Shepherd’s days on The View are coming to an end. Late Thursday afternoon, Shepherd, who has been with the ABC daytime talk show for the past seven years released a statement via her publicist confirming her departure from the popular series.
In her statement, Shepherd thanked The View executive producers, Barbara Walters and Bill Gedde, for the opportunity. Sherri Shepherd also thanked her fans for their love and support over the past seven years. According to published reports, Shepherd had been in the midst of an ongoing and rather lengthy contract renewal process. As the clock continued to tick on the expiration of her current deal with ABC and The View, there are published reports that the two parties could not come to a mutually beneficial agreement, and hence Shepherd will be forced to move on. As for the future, in her statement the actress and comedienne conveyed optimism and noted that she looks forward to whatever business opportunities lay ahead for her.
News of Sherri Shepherd’s departure contradicts show matron Barbara Walters, who announced before her recent retirement from the show in May that Shepherd and co-host Jenny McCarthy (who just joined the show last September) would have their jobs for as long as they wanted. However, Hollywood insiders are also saying that producers have been quietly scouting for replacements for both Shepherd and McCarthy, who could also be the next to go as The View heads into its 18th season in September. Over the years, The View has had no problems with rotating and swapping out women to hold a position at the proverbial and literal “Hot Topics” table. Over the course of the series run, 11 women have appeared as co-hosts on the show.
Things appear to be going from bad to worse for the 47-year-old Sherri Shepherd. It was in early May when she made headlines when her estranged husband Lamar Sally swiftly filed for legal separation from Shepherd, and motioned for full custody of their yet to be born child who is due at the end of July via a surrogate mother. Sherri Shepherd responded to Sally by filing of divorce. Just when Shepherd thought she had weathered one storm, her first husband, Jeffrey Tarpley, dragged her name through the courts once again. Tarpley filed court papers seeking full custody of their nine-year old son Jeffrey, jr. In court documents, Jeffery senior claimed Shepherd, with her busy schedule of working the daytime talk show and making the stand up comedy circuit on weekends, was neglecting their son who has special needs. Tarpley accused Shepherd of being an unfit mother, citing that the boy was suffering from neglect, poor hygiene and was reading below grade level. Jeffrey Tarpley also made claims that the nine-year old cannot even tie his own shoes.
With so much attention in the tabloids focused on her, Sherri Shepherd remained ever so quite to talk about her issues on the air. While many viewers of The View supported the daytime chatterbox, who chose to stay mum on her own problems, others found it disingenuous for the co-host to not make mention and address her problems especially on a show where pop culture topics of the day are discussed at length.
With her stint on the long running daytime talk show coming to an end, what lays ahead for Sherri Shepherd both personally and professionally has not been revealed by Shepherd or anyone close to her. In the meantime, one thing is for sure; Shepherd will stay in the headlines as her divorce plays out in the media, as the new baby arrives this summer, and has she looks for a new job. Sherri Shepherd will certainly have a new “view” on life.
Opinion by Hal Banfield