“I Just Need You To Read A Book, Dear:” Sherri Shepherd Says Barbara Walters Was Hard On Her During Tenure On “The View”

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Source: Lou Rocco / Getty

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d realize that some of our most difficult jobs ended up being the most beneficial to us in the long run. Sometimes they helped to build character, solidify work ethic, or even cultivate appreciation. And in retrospect, we’re able to admit that the very position that almost broke us helped us immensely in the end. Apparently, that was the case with Sherri Shepherd during her tenure on “The View.” Specifically, she struggled with the way she was handled by series creator, Barbara Walters.

“It was the most painful experience that I’ve ever gone through, but it was the best experience,” the “Jamie Foxx Show” actress told People. “Barbara was so hard on me. I cried for three years in my dressing room because she was so hard on me, but she did it out of love.”

Getting used to appearing on the daytime TV panel was tough and her critics were even tougher. At one point, Wendy Williams commented that Shepherd could be “replaced with a potato sack” and no one would know the difference.

“I love you,” Shepherd recalls Walters telling her one day. “I just need you to read a book, dear, and learn to defend what you believe. And speak up.”

Another memorable moment was when the actress’s comments about Christianity and the LGBTQ+ community would land her in the hot seat, which was her first run-in with cancel culture; however, Shepherd says that her views have since evolved.

“When people wanted to cancel me and take out full-page ads on me and take it outside The View, I would cry. Because I would go, ‘If you knew my heart.’ I came from doing standup and making people laugh and doing sitcoms,” she recalled. “I wish we were a culture of loving and going, ‘Let’s just see, hold on before we go, click, your entire life is done, your livelihood. You can never come back from this.’ Now there of course cases where it’s just like: You need to be in jail.”

After seven seasons, Shepherd was released from her position at the table in 2014.

“I sat in my dressing room in front of the mirror and I couldn’t breathe. And I said, ‘Lord, I got this child with these challenges, this divorce is coming down the pike. This is going to be bad,” she recalled. “What am I going to do?’ And there was a small voice, because I’m very spiritual, it’s a small voice, it sounds like Barry White, that asked, ‘Do you trust me?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not. I’m hanging on in my faith by the skin of my teeth.’ And God said, ‘That’s all I need.’ ”

These days, Shepherd is starring in a new sitcom, “Mr. Iglesias” on Netflix, and she continues to walk in faith.

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