Sherri Shepherd tests positive for COVID days into talk show's new season: 'I am absolutely heartbroken'

Sherri Shepherd is putting her talk show on pause after testing positive for COVID less than a week into its new season.

"I am absolutely heartbroken that I cannot return to host my show this week," Shepherd said in a statement published on the series' Instagram account on Wednesday. "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."

The post also featured a note from the talk show, which stressed that "the health of our host and entire staff is of the utmost importance" and that it intends to "return with original episodes as soon as possible." However, it acknowledged, "for the remainder of this week, encore episodes from the beginning of premiere week will air instead."

Shepherd kicked off the second season of her talk show on Monday, sitting down with musician Jon Batiste as well as comedians Michelle Buteau and Brad Williams. Prior to her diagnosis, the host was scheduled to chat with Julie Chen Moonves, Leslie Jones, and Katherine Heigl throughout the remainder of the series' premiere week.

Sherri Shepherd attends Vulture Festival 2021 at The Hollywood Roosevelt on November 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Sherri Shepherd attends Vulture Festival 2021 at The Hollywood Roosevelt on November 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

David Livingston/Getty Images Sherri Shepherd

During Monday's broadcast, Shepherd explained why her talk show was able to return amid the writers' and actors' strikes.

"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," she said. "There has been so much confusion about who can work and who can't work. Well, for me, I am a SAG-AFTRA actress and I actually marched with some of my colleagues while I was in Los Angeles recently. But here's the thing: Talk shows, in general, fall under a different union contract code, so we are allowed to come back unless you are a WGA show. Now, the Sherri show is not a WGA show. We have never employed WGA writers, so us coming back to work is not crossing the picket line."

She also revealed why she does not have any WGA writers on staff. "As a comic, my comedic take on the headlines is my voice," she said. "I write my jokes. I'm the writer, and I'm not in the WGA. I have the producers who help me shape my words, which is why we don't have WGA writers over here at Sherri."

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