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Wendy Williams Show Producer Responds When Asked About Fans Feeling The Longtime Host Didn't Get The Tribute She Deserved

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(Image credit: Debmar-Mercury)

The Wendy Williams Show came to an end on June 17, after 13 seasons of celebrity gossip, strong opinions and, “How you doin’?” inquiries. However, the show went out with a whimper, rather than the bang you’d expect from anything bearing the longtime host’s name. Many fans took issue with the fact that Wendy Williams was not featured on her series finale, saying she didn’t get the tribute she deserved, considering what she contributed to the world of daytime television for 12 years. Norman Baker, Williams’ longtime producer on the show, was asked about those opinions and responded to the criticism.

Ahead of The Wendy Williams Show’s final episode, some wondered if the namesake host would make one final appearance before shutting off the lights. However, when the day came, there was no Wendy, but there were lots of kind words about the host from Sherri Shepherd and the guests, as well as a video tribute. Overall many fans were upset, and took to social media to air their grievances. Norman Baker told Carlos King on the Reality With the King (opens in new tab) podcast he was not a part of the decision-making that went into the finale. He said:

Honestly that’s above me. It’s above me now. I actually don’t know what the process was, or I don’t know anything about it, honestly. There were internal talks about, between us, like what we were going to do, how we were going to do it? But those are decisions that are made above us.

Norman Baker said he doesn’t know exactly what happened, or if anybody from the show reached out to Wendy Williams to make an appearance. Ahead of the finale, insiders reported that there were mixed feelings about her possibly coming back. While some apparently thought it would be weird to close the show without her, others were reportedly ready to move on under the stability of Sherri Shepherd, who inherited much of Williams’ staff for her upcoming talk show Sherri

Despite the criticisms, Norman Baker said he was “good” with how the series finale turned out, recognizing that no celebration would have actually been enough to honor Wendy Williams. In his words:

I felt like what we did was from the heart, and it was, like, good, and it was what we were supposed to do. There’s actually no way to end that show. There’s no actual really sufficient way to encapsulate what we feel in our hearts for her anyway. So I felt like it was, we were good. … No matter what I do for the rest of my career, I know I was a part of something great for 12 years.

Not everybody felt that way. After The Wendy Williams Show finale aired, the host’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter called it a “travesty” that more was not done to honor the 12 years of work that Wendy Williams had put in. He absolutely ripped the production, saying it showed a “lack of professionalism,” and that there was no reason a celebration involving his ex-wife couldn’t have happened. He also blasted the higher-ups for not supporting Williams amid her health struggles.

One way or the other, everybody now appears to be trying to move on. Wendy Williams has announced she’s done with television but plans to return to media by way of podcast. Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd plans to fill a void in the daytime TV realm with Sherri, which will take over the time slot previously held by The Wendy Williams Show in September. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.