The View drama continues. When Sherri Shepherd was asked to join The View in 2007, she wasn’t completely convinced since the offer was lower than she’d hoped. Luckily, she leaned on Rosie O’Donnell, who’d left the show after fighting with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
In Us Weekly’s exclusive excerpt of Ramin Setoodeh’s Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, Shepherd, 51, explained that she was in debt when she received the offer – and O’Donnell, 57, helped her by sharing what the other women around the table were making.
Sherri wasn’t sure she wanted to do The View. She’d always thought of herself as an actress. If she moved to New York, she couldn’t take her son with her until her legal disputes had been resolved with her husband, whom she divorced in 2010. “I was probably six hundred thousand dollars in the hole going through this custody battle,” Sherri said. “I didn’t have a lot of money.” She was disappointed by how small The View’s offer was.
Sherri found a secret friend as she negotiated for more pay. Although Rosie had been banished from The View, she became Sherri’s agent, texting her salary advice. “‘This is what they are offering me, which is hugely, grossly low,’” Sherri recalled saying. “Rosie was amazing. She said to me, ‘This is what I made. this is what Joy makes. this is what Elisabeth makes.’ They had offered me a salary that was lower than Elisabeth. Rosie said, ‘You’re an established actress. Go back and counter with this amount!’ They came up.”
O’Donnell didn’t only encourage her to counter, but she also told her she needed to ask for more perks. Shepherd says that now she helps other women counter, too.
“They paid my rent”—worth $85,000—“for the first year,” Sherri said. ABC had initially offered her one business-class plane ticket to New York. As part of her renegotiated deal, she got eight first-class tickets to Los Angeles to visit her son on the weekends.
The experience taught Sherri that women have to help each other out at the negotiating table. “To this day, if there’s a woman who does a talk show, I’ll let her know what I make,” Shepherd said. In 2010, CBS launched their own knockoff version of The View, called The Talk.
“When Sheryl Underwood got eTalk, she had no idea what she was supposed to ask for,” Sherri said. “She had no clue, and I told her. Of course they are going to offer you the lowest amount. I was very thankful to Rosie for what she did for me.”
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View hits bookstores on Tuesday, April 2.
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