Judge Judy has made her decision: Officer Byrd is out.
Petri Hawkins Byrd, the longtime bailiff on Judge Judy was not asked to continue to serve as Judge Judy’s courtroom officer when Judy Sheindlin’s new show, Judy Justice, which debuts Nov. 1 on IMDB TV.
Byrd told Entertainment Weekly that he was left out of discussions regarding the new show. He had served as Sheindlin’s bailiff since Judge Judy premiered in 1996.
“My assumption is if you were going on to do something else, that you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role,” Byrd said.
Byrd was apparently kept out of the loop about the new show. He found out about Judy Justice when Sheindlin made the announcement on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March 2020.
During the pandemic, Sheindlin worked on Judge Judy from New York while Byrd and the production team were in Los Angeles. The show, in its 25th and final season, wrapped in April.
At that point, Byrd turned his full attention to his wife, Makita Bond-Byrd, who was scheduled for brain surgery to remove a tumor and had just completed a third round of chemotherapy. The outlet said 95 percent of the tumor was successfully removed.
He said, “It wasn’t until July that I called the judge and asked, ‘Hey, should I look for something else or am I included in the Judy Justice project?'” adding that she informed him that he “was not being asked to come along on the project.”
Sheindlin told him that his salary would be too high, even though he wasn’t given the opportunity to accept a wage cut.
“I’m like if I did something wrong or offended you or brought shame to the show, or if was involved in numerous scandals in the 25 years we were together, I might understand why you didn’t want to bother in the end,” Byrd stated.
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Sheindlin, who has a new bailiff slated to replace Byrd, issued a statement on Byrd’s ouster: “Byrd is terrific and we had a great 25-year run. This is a whole new program with a whole new cast and an exciting energy.”
Byrd seems to be taking it in stride, as he looks for new opportunities. So far, he’s appeared on the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, according to TV Insider. He portrayed a minister who married a couple on the Aug. 5 episode. He has also done voiceover.