"There has been so much confusion about who can work and who can’t work," the talk show host acknowledged during Monday's season 2 premiere of her eponymous daytime series
Sherri Shepherd is clearing things up.
During Monday's season 2 premiere, the Sherri host affirmed her support for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA unions and acknowledged the "confusion" around why her talk show is resuming production amid the ongoing 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 began. "There has been so much confusion about who can work and who can’t work."
Shepherd, 56, noted that she is SAG member herself, noting that she'd been on the picket line with Viola Davis, Niecy Nash and others. She then went on to explain that talk shows who do not employ WGA writers fall under a "different union contract code."
"Here’s the thing, talk shows in general fall under a different union contract code, so we’re allowed to come back unless you’re a WGA show," she said. "The Sherri show is not a WGA show and we have never employed WGA writers, so us coming back to work isn’t crossing the picket line.”
The host added, "As a comic, my comedic take on the headlines is my voice. I write the jokes. I’m the writer … producers help me shape my words. That’s why we don’t have WGA writers."
Shepherd reiterated her support for SAG-AFTRA. She specifically expressed her support of their ask for higher residuals in the streaming age, noting that residuals helped her take care of her son Jeffrey Jr. when he was born prematurely.
"I stand in solidarity with my union," she continued. "One of the things that we’re fighting for is better residuals. ... Resduals during times that I was not working kept the lights on. My residual payments helped me care for Jeffrey when he was born at 25 weeks. So good residual payments are important to actors.”
She also addressed the "big sticking point" of artificial intelligence (AI) — which both actors and writers are seeking to limit — with a quip that AI "can't replace all of this sass."
She summed up, "My heart is breaking for all of the people that can’t work right now, and I hope our industry can get this strike resolved soon."
Shepherd's comments come at a time when many talk shows are having to decide whether to resume production amid the strikes.
The actress and host eventually announced on Saturday that she would pause production after all.
“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” she wrote on Instagram. "I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward."
"I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon," she concluded.
The WGA has been on strike since May 2 after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers did not result in an agreed upon contract before the previous one expired. The writers are seeking higher pay, minimum staffing requirements, residuals from streaming and regulation of AI, amongst other asks.
SAG-AFTRA, led by President Fran Drescher, also went on strike July 14. Actors are seeking higher pay, residuals from streaming and protection against AI. This marks the first dual strike since 1960.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Sherri airs weekdays on Fox (check local listings).
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.