In February of this year, it was announced that comedian, actress, and talk show host Sherri Shepherd, 55, would be getting her own talk show, essentially replacing The Wendy Williams Show and its host, Wendy Williams, 57. The announcement comes after Shepherd, along with a slew of other guest hosts filled in for Williams after she stepped away from the show due to ongoing health issues.
Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of Debmar-Mercury, the production company behind The Wendy Williams show said in a joint statement, “Sherri is a natural who proved her hosting skills for many years as a panelist on ‘The View,’ on Fox’s ‘Dish Nation’ and again this season as a popular guest host of ‘Wendy.’ Like our viewers, we have been impressed by the unique comedic twist Sherri puts on our daily live ‘Hot Topics’ segment, her creativity, and interactions with our guests. Her love for the content and daytime fans is obvious, and we are excited to partner with her to create another long-term talk franchise.”
Shepherd shared her enthusiasm about the opportunity saying, “OMG! I am so excited to have my dream come true and debut my very own talk show ‘Sherri’ in the fall. I can’t wait until I return to NY to host the show and merge everything, I love…pop culture, talk, entertainment, and comedy. I am thankful to Debmar-Mercury and Fox for partnering with me on this show and look forward to this new journey.”
Wendy, on the other hand, has not taken the news well. During an Instagram Live chat with rapper Fat Joe she claimed that she will in fact be returning to her show saying, “I’m coming back to ‘The Wendy Williams Show.’ Absolutely. I wish I was there. I wish I was there right now to talk about it. I’m glad I’m able to talk about it when I come back, you know?” She also added that she would not be watching Sherri’s show, “I won’t be watching her because I know what she’ll be doing and that’s not really my thing … you know what I’m saying?” But I love, I love being on my own show. And I love that people love to watch it, you know, all the time.”
The Sherri show is set to premiere this fall.
Abron’s Hot Take
Okay, I say this with full respect and empathy for Wendy, it’s time for a reality check! Wendy, YOU.ARE.NOT.GETTING. YOUR.SHOW. BACK! Period, full stop. I think Wendy says this because she’s really trying to convince herself that she has not been replaced and that’s exactly what has happened. Yes, Sherri is not replacing “The Wendy Williams Show,” but her own show will air in Wendy’s old timeslot. So, what does that tell you? I know what it tells me. Now, we can’t blame Wendy for needing to take time away from the show to focus on her ailing health and other personal issues; however, working in TV is a business and at this point, Wendy being gone as long as she has been makes her a liability to the production company behind her show not to mention with marketing and advertisers.
It's only natural that they would start to move in a different direction. Just so we’re clear, The Wendy Williams show is over and doesn’t seem to be coming back anytime soon. Instead, viewers will be tuning in to The Sherri Show. I think Wendy needs to continue to focus on her health and when she’s officially ready, she can return to the public eye. What I’m sensing is that Wendy seems to be upset that she is being replaced and although her anger may be warranted, it is, however, misdirected at the wrong person which is Sherri. Sherri hasn’t done anything wrong. Some have argued that she essentially saved Wendy’s show with her appearances which producers found compelling enough to reward her with a show of her own. Wendy needs to discuss any issues she has with Debmar-Mercury, but I doubt she will because it’s much easier to hate the person replacing you rather than the powers that be behind the decision.
This is a very sad situation all around and I for one would advise Wendy to bow out gracefully and give a sincere and heartfelt goodbye to her audience that has watched her for the last fourteen years rather than hold on to this notion that she will be returning to her show when anyone whose been following this story can see the writing on the wall. Her actions are concerning and come off like an aging adult trying desperately to hold onto their youth.
It's over Wendy. Please accept that and use this time to rest, reimagine, and reemerge a better, stronger Wendy Williams!
The past four years have seen actress Selma Blair, 49 get very candid about her personal life. In 2018, the Cruel Intentions star revealed in an Instagram post that she was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that according to the National MS Society, impacts the brain and spinal cord which make up the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. In the post, Blair recounts her symptoms, sharing “I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps.” She further shares her battle with the disease in her very personal and emotional documentary, Introducing, Selma Blair. After receiving a stem cell treatment, Blair is now in remission of her MS, “My prognosis is great. I’m in remission. Stem cell put me in remission. It took about a year after stem cell for the inflammation and lesions to really go down.”
As if battling an autoimmune disease wasn’t traumatic enough, especially sharing such vulnerable moments with the public, she is now opening up in her new memoir, Mean Baby, about her experiences with alcohol addiction which she shares started at just 7 years old as well as other deleterious and unfortunate circumstances of suicide attempts and sexual assaults. In her cover story with PEOPLE, she shares, “I don't know if I would've survived childhood without alcoholism, that's why it's such a problem for a lot of people. It really is a huge comfort, a huge relief in the beginning. Maybe even the first few years for me because I did start really young with that as a comfort, as my coping mechanism.”
Mean Baby was released on May 17th and is available now.
Abron’s Hot Take
If you’re a 90s – early 2000s kid like myself, then you’re most familiar with Selma from her roles as Cecile Caldwell in Cruel Intentions, one-third of the girlfriend’s trio, Jane Burns in the comedy film, The Sweetest Thing, and as Reese Witherspoon’s nemesis Vivian Kensington in Legally Blonde. We’ve basically grown up with her as she’s portrayed characters in some of our favorite films that have defined our childhoods. So, naturally hearing about her traumatic battles with MS and now her recounts of alcoholism and sexual assault pierces our hearts. I’ve often said that if I were to ever meet Selma, I would wrap my arms around her and give her the biggest hug. Ten percent of that hug would be due to the struggles she’s faced because that’s what we’re naturally inclined to do as humans who are empathetic to others. But ninety percent of my hug would be to celebrate her bravery and strength in sharing her personal story with the world.
It's not easy to do something like this in a world that often finds fault with the victims or is so easy to speak negatively about others. But yet, she’s done exactly that in the most beautiful way. When I watch Selma, I’m reminded that we all have choices. We can either cave and give in to the unfortunate circumstances life deals us or we can choose to be strong and fight to the very end in hopes of changing the outcome. Selma has looked MS in the face and not only knocked it out of life, but she’s also using her platform to advocate against the disease and spread awareness so that others who are either facing the disease or know someone who is, can see a positive example of perseverance that they too will reach the other side. Through her memoir, she’s empowering other women and girls to own their stories, change their narratives, and frame who they are and who they want to be. I feel honored to know that I co-exist and I live in a world with the likes of Selma Blair.
Thank you, Selma. I’m rooting for you. WE ALL ARE!
The world of country music suffered a huge loss when reports announced that Naomi Judd, 76, had died. As one-half of the Grammy-winning duo, The Judds with daughter, Wynonna Judd, 57, Naomi was one of the most successful artists to grace country music. Wynonna, along with her sister and Naomi’s youngest daughter, actress Ashley Judd, 54 released an official statement on Ashley’s Twitter account, confirming that their mom had in fact passed away. The tweet stated that the sisters lost Naomi to the “disease of mental illness.”
On May 1, 2022, just one day after the announcement of her death, Naomi along with daughter Wynonna, as part of The Judds, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. During her tearful acceptance speech alongside sister Ashley, Wynonna said, “I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most. I’m gonna make this fast because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed. … Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.” An emotional Ashley added, “I’m sorry that she [Naomi] couldn’t hang on until today.”
Although her initial statement only claimed that Naomi had passed from mental illness, no detailed explanation was given about the cause of death until recently when Ashley sat down with Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer. In this candid interview, Ashley shared that Naomi used a gun to end her own life, committing suicide, “She used a weapon … my mother used a firearm. So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it, someone else is going to.” Judd went on to add that she was the one who found her mother’s lifeless body, “I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there, and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”
Naomi Judd’s last performance was with Wynonna at the 2022 CMT Music Awards. A public memorial service was held on Sunday, May 15, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
Abron’s Hot Take
I can’t even begin to fathom what the loss of a parent feels like, nor can I imagine what Wynonna and Ashley are going through. Back in 2016, during an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Naomi talked about her battles with depression and suicidal thoughts. To know that even back then, she struggled with this disease and then ultimately succumbed to it and took her own life is a hard pill to swallow. Although Naomi’s battle is not uncommon, it is, however, very alarming. Oftentimes, we look at the lives of celebrities and we assume that because they have money, and fame, their lives are far better than the average person. On the surface, that can be true. Being able to buy big mansions and expensive cars seems like the pinnacle of success. But what you can’t buy your way out of is your own mental health. It’s always with you and follows you everywhere you go.
Depression is something we all struggle with. No matter who you are, whether you’re famous or not, you will at some point, experience depression. And as we’ve learned from the passing of Extra TV correspondent, Cheslie Kryst, even high-functioning depression can still become so debilitating that suicidal ideation creeps in. My hope is that we as a society can not only normalize the topic of depression and mental health but that we can make seeking treatment a part of any other illness as that is in fact what it is. Suicide has claimed far too many due to their depression. It’s a dangerous disease that is far more lethal than cancer because it attacks slowly and can stay with you for years if not properly treated. My heart and condolences are with Wynonna, Ashley, the family of Cheslie, and anyone else who has lost someone to depression and suicide. For those who are suffering in silence, I encourage you to seek help from the many resources available. Trust me, you’re not alone in this fight as it is a universal one. Depression will always be here, but if we have better coping mechanisms to fight it without the stigma of shame, perhaps we can save more lives, including those of the rich and famous.
Sean Combs, also known by his many monikers throughout his career such as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, and most recently, Love/Brother Love has announced the launch of his new music venture, Love Records. The label will serve as a partnership with Motown Records. Reports on the announcement share that the label “will be dedicated to R&B music and will release singles and collaborative projects from a collective of world-class artists, producers, and songwriters.” The first album that will be released under the new label will be none other than the rapper and business mogul himself, which will mark his official return to music since the release of his last solo studio album, 2006’s Press Play.
In his official statement on why he decided to start the label, the 52-year-old said, “Music has always been my first love, Love Records is the next chapter is about getting back to the love and making the best music of my life. For the label, I’m focused on creating timeless R&B music with the next generation of artists and producers. Motown is the perfect partner for my album and I’m excited to add to its legacy.”
This isn’t exactly new territory for the I’ll be Missing You hitmaker as he is the founder of Bad Boy Records which was founded in 1993 and launched the careers of artists such as Mase, groups Total and 112, Mario Winans, Day26, Danity Kane, Da Band, and most notably, the late Christopher Wallace, known by his stage name, The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggy Smalls. Diddy will executive produce, curate, and serve as A&R for his upcoming fifth studio album.
Abron’s Hot Take
I want to give credit where credit is due and first state that I believe Sean Combs is a fantastic businessman…for himself. He not only created his own record label with Bad Boy, but he also launched an impressive list of other business ventures such as his clothing line, Sean John, which won the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award for Men’s Designer of the Year in 2004. In addition, he’s released successful fragrances (unforgivable being my favorite) and owns significant shares in businesses such as Cîroc Vodka and Revolt TV. As of 2022, Diddy is reported to have a net worth of $900 million, making him one of the richest rappers in the world.
With that said, while Diddy has managed to carve out a successful career for himself, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room which is his poor track record in managing other artists. It’s a bit of an open secret that many artists who’ve signed with Diddy through his label, Bad Boy, have unfortunately not become as successful as they may have hoped or once enjoyed mainstream success and have now disappeared from the public spotlight.
You may argue that it’s unfair to hold Diddy responsible for the failures of his artists but as the owner of the record label, his role in signing artists, helping to develop their sound and brand, as well as how to market them are huge reasons why that argument doesn’t hold weight. If one or two artists fail, then perhaps we can assume those were moments of bad luck. However, if most of your music roster is no longer making music today and you yourself are the only relevant success story, then it bares mention or suggestion that perhaps business practices were poor at the very least. I’m assuming Diddy is aware of this which is why he’s emphasizing that the artists that will sign under his new label, will have equity as he explains in this interview with 2Cool2Blog.
I certainly hope this is the case with Love Records. As Jay Z says in the song BOSS, featuring wife Beyoncé, “over here we measure success by how many people successful next to you, here we say you broke if everybody gets broke except for you.” Translation: if you’re the only one making money and everyone else in your circle is not, then you’re not really a boss, nor are you really successful. I am wishing the best of luck to Diddy and all of the new artists that will release music under the imprint.
Bill Murray, 71, is a Hollywood icon with a career that has expanded for decades. He first rose to prominence in the late 70s replacing Chevy Chase on the late-night sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL). From there, he transitioned into acting, starring in cult classics that have expanded generations. His performance in the romantic comedy-drama film, Lost in Translation garnered critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In recent news, reports share that production on Murray’s latest film, Being Mortal, has been suspended due to allegations that the Ghostbusters star has conducted inappropriate behavior while on set.
In a letter sent by the movie studio, Searchlight Pictures, to the cast and crew of the film, it states as its reason to halt production, “Late last week, we were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it.” Although it is unclear as of the time of this writing what exactly Murray has been accused of doing to cause filming on the project to be halted, Searchlight has launched an investigation into the matter and has not yet commented on the details of said investigation. The studio further stated in their letter as far as when filming will resume, “We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project. Our hope is to resume production and [we] are working with Aziz and [producer Youree Henley] to figure out that timing. Production will be in touch with you to share details on the wrap, and we will let you know as soon as we have more information to share.”
The film started its production on March 28 and is reportedly halfway through filming. Whether Murray will be replaced or not, for this reason, has yet to be determined as well as whether the suspension will affect its 2023 release date. Being Mortal marks the directorial debut of actor Aziz Ansari and stars fellow actors Seth Rogan and Keke Palmer.
Abron’s Hot Take
Now, on the surface, it would appear that Murray is a pretty standup guy. I mean you don’t maintain a career this long in Hollywood if you’re a complete jerk; however, there are exceptions to the rule. This isn’t the first time that the actor has been accused of bad behavior. There have been multiple stories from directors and costars alike, who have shared their experiences of aggressive actions and insults hurled towards them by Murray that they have deemed disrespectful if not abusive. In 2021, actress Lucy Liu, 53, opened up about the verbal insults she suffered from Murray on the set of the 2000 action-comedy film, Charlie’s Angels.
So, it’s a bit hard not to believe that the latest complaints on the set of Being Mortal have some element of truth to them and that Murray is in fact the culprit of the “inappropriate behavior.” There are just so many questions to ask about why exactly does Bill Murray find it necessary to berate, insult, or physically attack his costars? Is this a form of a superiority complex? Is he facing personal demons that he refuses to get help for and would rather take his anger out on those around him? Is he suffering from a mental health disorder? There are just so many ways to look at this. But what I will say is that under no circumstances whatsoever, regardless of if the answer to any of the questions asked above is yes, is it ever okay to behave the way Murray has.
We know of the pressures that celebrities face and how it can become isolating and has caused many others to suffer nervous breakdowns. I’m empathetic to their plight. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have eyes on you all of the time, cameras in your face 24/7, and strangers judging your every move and dissecting every word you say. However, with any job, you have to take the good with the bad and if Bill has learned nothing in his nearly five-decade career, you would think it is how to treat people.
The man is 71 years old. At this point, he should be at a stage in his life where he’s working for the pure enjoyment of it all. He has nothing to prove as he’s built a career that most aspiring actors can only dream of. What is the reason for his negative behavior? Here’s a piece of advice Mr. Murray…if working with others has proven to become an issue for you – if you find that sharing in the human experience with others is too much, then perhaps you might want to consider retirement. That way, you never have to work with actors you hate – take instruction from directors you despise, and in return, those same individuals can come to work feeling safe and not having to worry if they’ll have objects thrown at them or forced to listen to your diatribes at their expense. It’s a win-win if you ask me.
Welcome to my Blog! Here, we'll discuss some of the biggest hot topics in Hollywood involving some of your favorite celebrities. I'll be sharing my honest thoughts and opinions and giving you and in-depth perspective with full context. This space is designed to not only share news permeating the pop-culture space, but to also inspire deep thought and conversation that is as insightful as it is entertaining. Feel free to leave your comments and let's discuss!