THE TALK hosts are “demanding raises” after Jerry O’Connell scored a $2million salary as Sharon Osbourne’s replacement, according to sources.
It was announced on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk that frequent guest Jerry, 47, will be replacing Sharon Osbourne and joining Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth as a permanent host.
A source exclusively told The Sun that the current hosts are “paid less” than the comedian, as he is making “close to 2million.”
The insider said: “Jerry’s salary is less than half of Sharon’s salary, but more than Sheryl. Amanda and Elaine are making mid six figures.
“No one ever complained about Sharon making more money because she was the star of the show and known across the globe so the show could be sold to other countries and generate revenue.
“She was the centerpiece and was the only person to generate regular press coverage. The woman rallied around her and knew she deserved more compensation for the prestige and relevance she brought to the show.”
The insider continued: “Expect the women to ask for raises to equal his salary.
“His salary is really what the women are questioning. To be paid less than a man does not sit well with any of the ladies and there will be some serious conversations that will take place.
“Elaine has been an advocate of equal pay and has spoken out about people of color being paid less and will make sure she and the other women are properly compensated.”
A second source confirmed to The Sun that Jerry is making $35,000 to $40,000 a week.
A third insider said the yearly figure is "inflated."
Jerry is replacing original host Sharon, 68, who quit the show in March after her on-air fight with Sheryl over her decision to stand by her friend Piers Morgan's criticism of Meghan Markle.
While The Talk team believes Jerry is “good at what he does,” he “will never be as marvelous as Sharon.”
The source continued: “The staff wishes Sharon was coming back. The set isn't the same without her energy. It's as if a piece of a puzzle is missing and will never be the same again. Sharon was The Talk.
“He will never compare to Mrs. O or come close to what she brought to the show. She gave her heart and soul for over a decade.”
CBS did not provide a response to The Sun's request for comment.
Wednesday’s episode of The Talk opened by Sheryl saying: "This person has been doing some serious training to get ready for their new hosting duties.”
A video then played of frequent host Jerry working out and heading to The Talk studios, as he greeted crew members before going on stage to join his new costars.
He said of the new gig: "It's really exciting. You ladies have been so welcoming to me. I came here as a guest months ago. From the moment I walked in, you're gracious, you're kind, you're fun and it worked. Here we are. We're going to have a lot of fun, we really are.”
Host Elaine Welteroth said they are "lucky" to have Jerry join, as it takes a "real man" to come on a woman's show.
Amanda Kloots added: "I love having you on set everyday. You bring such an amazing energy to this studio. I learn from you everyday. You are an incredible host and we are so lucky to have you here.”
Jerry then thanked the crew as he added: "It's a special feeling around here.”
Sheryl then said: "You add to that. You make everybody smile. You know names. You say good morning to everybody.”
The actor began co-hosting alongside Sheryl, Amanda and Elaine for The Talk’s Men of May special, and continued to co-host in recent weeks.
The Sun broke in May that Jerry is “in final negotiations” to replace Sharon.
Though the co-hosts seemed overjoyed by the new addition on Wednesday’s episode, a source told The Sun in May that Sheryl and Elaine were “not happy.”
The source claimed: “On camera everyone is lovey-dovey and laughing together, but off camera Sheryl and Elaine have raised some serious concerns.
"Sheryl thinks Jerry is fine for the Men of May month producers planned, but beyond that she feels we are telling the audience that women cannot behave themselves and be friends.
“It's not the narrative Sheryl wants out there and she thinks it would further damage public perception.”
As for Elaine, she wants to focus less on the light-hearted and humorous topics discussed with Jerry on the show.
The source continued: “Elaine wants to use her voice to address important conversations like Black Lives Matter, under representation in the workplace and police brutality, not surface conversations about Katy Perry not shaving her legs.
“Elaine feels she was hired to have deep meaningful conversations and now the show is abandoning that plan to have silly conversations."
Though Jerry is a big name, the source said: “The truth is that no one can replace Mrs. O. Sharon was the centerpiece of the show.”
A second insider said: "The hosts are enjoying 'The Talk's Men of May' with Jerry and the fun and entertaining discussions they've been having on the show.
"The Talk will continue to address important, timely topics as well.”
In April, Carrie Ann Inaba was out for two weeks because of side effects from her various autoimmune conditions.
She then announced she is taking a leave of absence from the CBS show.
Viewers appear mixed by Jerry’s hiring.
One said on The Talk’s Facebook page: “Not the classy show it used to be… and now adding a goofy male. They are grasping at straws. He won't help it! Wonder how long before it is off the air.”
But another said in favor of Jerry joining: “So glad a male perspective will be included in the talk; plus have always loved Jerry since he was a kid.”
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