Shepherd Shares Her View On Juan Williams’ Good Fortune And The Bill O’Reilly Feud

Sherri Shepherd (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Sherri Shepherd (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Sherri Shepherd thinks Juan Williams owes a debt of gratitude – or cold hard cash – to the ladies of ‘The View.’

“He should at least come on the show and say, ‘Thank you, ladies!’ ” Shepherd told Fancast in a phone interview this week. Shepherd was interviewed on the subject of ‘The Newlywed Game,’ the current version of which starts its fourth season next Monday on Game Show Network. Shepherd’s the new host, taking over from Carnie Wilson.

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But the ‘View’ cohost also talked about the fallout still stemming from the now-infamous episode earlier in which Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar angrily exited the ABC chat show when they were offended by a statement guest Bill O’Reilly made about Muslims and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Williams, of course, is the commentator who was dropped by National Public Radio after he made his own statements about Muslims – including the fear that grips him when he’s on a plane and sees Muslim passengers. Williams made the statement in a conversation with O’Reilly about the ‘View’ dustup on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ Shortly after NPR severed its relationship with Williams, he reportedly signed a $2 million contract to be a Fox News contributor.

And that’s why Shepherd thinks Williams owes ‘The View’ a thank you.

“We were just talking this morning about the fact that Juan Williams should give Joy and Whoopi… a finder’s fee because he made this big multimillion-dollar deal with [Fox News] and that stemmed from the Bill O’Reilly incident,” Shepherd said. “Otherwise, Juan, you’d still be at NPR. We actually helped you!”

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In her first interview on the subject since the incident, Shepherd described what it was like to be sitting on stage on ‘The View’ when Whoopi and Joy suddenly stalked off the set. “My reaction was [the same reaction] I have most of the time when I’m on ‘The View’ – Oh, my God! What is going on?” she said. “But I support my cohosts because they did what they believed, and you have to stand for what you believe.”

Shepherd suspects that O’Reilly knew all along he would stir up controversy with his remark that “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” “I said to Bill when we came back [from a commercial break]: ‘I believe you knew what you were doing when you said what you said. You knew the furor you were going to create.’ And he’s riding this, he keeps playing the clips [on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’].”

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As for her own reaction to O’Reilly’s words, Shepherd stayed in her seat because viewers wouldn’t have believed she was sincere if she suddenly got up and walked off the show in solidarity with Whoopi and Joy.

“Whenever he comes on, it’s Joy or Whoopi that he gets that knife in there and kind of turns it. Bill doesn’t mess with me,” she said. “I don’t have any beef with him [so] it would have been a little disingenuous for me to [walk off]. I mean, really? If I got up and went, ‘Yes, I’m walking off too!’ I think you would have been like, Really?”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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