Following a year of health concerns and financial issues for the namesake host and temporary guests filling in the interim, the decision was made to ultimately cancel The Wendy Williams Show after Season 13. There was some talk that Williams herself might return one last time on the show for the finale, but that was not to be. The final episode was instead handled with only a montage tribute video to the 57-year-old. And her ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, shared some brutally honest thoughts on her absence.
The syndicated talk show has long been produced and distributed by the company of Debmar-Mercury, which presumably opted not to have Wendy Williams return for a last bow. Or so Kevin Hunter claimed in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. Hunter was a co-creator and former executive producer on the series until his ouster by the company in 2019 after the couple’s divorce. As he tells it, his ex-wife might’ve wanted to be part of the finale, saying:
He claimed that the production company had shown a “lack of professionalism” behind the scenes toward his former spouse and to the process of phasing her out from her show. The ex continued that the higher-ups didn’t support her “health-wise” during this time. (The host has reportedly been struggling with her flare ups related to Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism of late.) Furthermore, in his view, they didn’t respect that their “personal relationship” had suffered for the sake of The Wendy Williams Show. He said:
Wendy Williams’ ex-husband filed a lawsuit against Debmar-Mercury this year for wrongful termination. He alleged in the court documents that his firing was illegal in the state of New York since it was based on marital status. And he stipulated that he wanted at least $7 million in the suit, along with “punitive damages, lost wages, commissions,” as well as compensation for his legal fees.
It isn’t clear if the lawsuit has been settled in court yet. However, Kevin Hunter maintained his side of things to the outlet, saying his firing was due to the divorce, not his “job performance.” He also stated that the company attempted to “divide and conquer” in their relationship so they would have total “access” to the fan-favorite host. In addition, he accuses them of “deplorable” practices over the years and alleged that the real reason for the show’s cancellation would “come out very soon.”
Whatever the case may really be, the June 17 episode did celebrate the TV personality, just not with her present. Per Deadline, along with the tribute video, The Wendy Williams Show brought back the first-ever guest on the show, Vanessa Williams, for the final lap. Williams commended how “real” the former host was over the years, adding that she would “miss her presence.”
Wendy Williams’ replacement in her time slot, Sherri Shepherd, echoed those same sentiments. She called her the “Queen of all Media” and proposed that Williams changed the face of daytime talk shows forever with her “unique” approach. Shepherd has stated in recent months that she is not actually friends with Williams but, in the finale, she gave her props again for being an “icon” and continued that she was still “loved by so many.” The show ended with the crew delivering Williams’ notorious “How you doin’?” line all together.
The new series, Sherri, is expected to take over sometime in the fall. Be on the look out for the official premiere date and everything else that’s slated for release on the 2022 TV schedule.