“The Wendy Williams Show” ended its nearly 14 year rollercoaster ride Friday.
The fact it did so without Wendy Williams, ‘its longtime host, left her ex-husband and former producer Kevin Hunter miffed.
“It is the first time in the history of talk shows for this to be – especially for a show that has been on for more than 10 years,” Hunter told “Entertainment Tonight.” “There is absolutely no reason why a bigger celebration that involved Wendy could not happen.”
Williams, 57, stepped away from the program in 2020 citing a series of medical troubles. That was also the year she and Hunter divorced. The Asbury Park, NJ, native hoped to return for at least one more season. Fill-in host Sherri Shepherd will start her own show in the fall, People magazine reports.
Calling Williams’ exclusion from the series finale “unceremonious” and a “travesty,” Hunter laid blame at the feet of production company Debmar-Mercury, who he sued for wrongful termination in March, according to People. Hunter had worked as an executive producer on “The Wendy Williams Show.”
“Since Wendy is still not available to host the show as she continues on her road to recovery, we believe it is best for our fans, stations and advertising partners to start making this transition now,” Debmar-Mercury said in a statement.
The company said it would like to work with Williams in the future and said it had “great love and affinity for Wendy.”
On its Twitter account, “The Wendy Williams Show” posted a photo of a chair on an otherwise empty stage under a caption thanking fans for tuning in on Friday. A video tribute featuring Williams was planned for the final show. A show spokesperson has not responded to a request for comment regarding Hunter’s objections.
Williams’ spokesman Howard Bragman said in a statement that this is a “challenging time” for Williams and said she is grateful to Debmar-Mercury and Shepherd. The show launched in 2008 and made its way into a syndication a year later. Her guests over the years included Vanessa Williams, Omarosa Manigault and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
With News Wire Services