Williams, sidelined by well being points together with covid-19 and issues from Graves’ illness, has not hosted her personal present because it returned in October. Shepherd and others, together with Michael Rapaport and Kym Whitley, have crammed in for her.
Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein referred to as the change “a bitter-sweet second for us and our companions at Fox. All of us have a terrific love and affinity for Wendy, who grew into a real icon throughout her 12 unbelievable seasons because the solo host of a stay, day by day discuss present.” In a press release, they defined their reasoning for the everlasting transfer: “Since Wendy remains to be not accessible to host the present as she continues on her street to restoration, we imagine it’s best for our followers, stations and promoting companions to start out making this transition now. We hope to have the ability to work with Wendy once more sooner or later, and proceed to want her a speedy and full restoration.”
The previous few years have been troublesome for the discuss present host. She fainted throughout a stay airing of a Halloween-themed episode of the present in 2017, which resulted in her taking a three-week go away. In 2018, she mentioned that she had been recognized years earlier than with Graves’ illness, an autoimmune dysfunction that may result in hyperthyroidism.
In early 2019, Williams, who has been open about her struggles with cocaine abuse, mentioned that she had been living in a sober house, although she didn’t particular why. Lower than a month later, she filed for divorce from her husband and longtime supervisor, Kevin Hunter.
Williams started her profession in radio and gained renown for her position as a shock jock on New York’s Sizzling 97 radio station. As The Washington Put up’s Bethonie Butler wrote in a piece on the tenth anniversary of her discuss present, throughout William’s time on radio, her “brash takes on hip-hop tradition and superstar gossip lit up city radio airwaves” and amassed her a legion of devoted followers, however she additionally “made some enemies of the very tradition she was overlaying.”
Williams gained the same following when she launched her tv profession. Her followers typically laud her astonishing openness about her private life, together with sharing particulars on “The Wendy Williams Present” of her drug dependancy and her relationship with Hunter, who was additionally an govt producer on the collection.
Her controversial opinions additionally earned Williams her justifiable share of critics — and headlines. In 2018, for instance, she drew the ire of #MeToo founder Tarana Burke when she said she was “sick” of the motion, and that R&B singer R. Kelly, who in 2021 was found guilty on 9 federal intercourse trafficking and racketeering expenses, “wasn’t a Me Too.”
“It’s disgraceful that as extensive as your viewers is and as many younger women, many Black women watch your present that you’d brazenly sufferer blame such as you did yesterday,” Burke tweeted on the time. “You’re the motive why we are able to’t make headway in our neighborhood round sexual assault.”
Howard Bragman, Williams’s publicist, mentioned in an e-mail that Williams is grateful to Debmar-Mercury, Shepherd and everybody who has supported her present.
“It’s been a difficult time for Wendy as she offers together with her well being points,” he added. “She has been assured by Debmar-Mercury that ought to her well being get to a degree the place she will be able to host once more and will her need be that she hosts once more that she could be again on TV at the moment.”
Shepherd, whose eponymous “Sherri” will take over Williams’s time slot, said in an Instagram video Tuesday that she plans to place her personal spin on the brand new present.
“You possibly can’t substitute Wendy. You possibly can’t take over what Wendy does. What Wendy has created is particularly for Wendy,” the “30 Rock” and “Sex Lives of College Girls” actress mentioned. “I simply fill in with my model of laughter and pleasure and I attempt to make it my very own. However nobody can do what Wendy does … no one can re-create it. No person can take over.”