Drew Barrymore Talk Show Return Halted Following Union Outcry

The series was initially set to return without any of its WGA writing staff.

The Big Picture

  • Drew Barrymore faced backlash for deciding to continue her talk show without her striking writing staff, prompting criticism from the industry.
  • Her previous solidarity with striking writers, demonstrated by pulling out of hosting the MTV Movie Awards, made her decision to bypass the strike rules even more confusing.
  • Barrymore’s show faced picketing from the Writers Guild of America, and she was dropped as the host of the National Book Awards due to her controversial choice.

Drew Barrymore has backtracked from her decision to push ahead with production of her self-titled talk show, in spite of her entire writing staff being on strike. The initial decision backfired spectacularly on the host and actress, provoking criticism from the industry. Last week, Barrymore revealed her show would be returning without writers and would abide by strike rules in not discussing struck work. Barrymore then released a public apology after she received pushback and said there was nothing she could do to make amends.

Her actions are all the more confusing given that, in May, she had pulled out of hosting the MTV Movie Awards in “solidarity” with striking writers. Barrymore later took to Instagram to express her sorrow at the pain she had caused to her employees:

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”

“A Complex and Difficult Process”

A spokesperson for The Drew Barrymore Show shared a statement that read, “We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her.”

Shortly after Barrymore announced her show would be returning, a spokesperson for the Writers Guild of America told The Hollywood Reporter that it had stayed off the air since the strike began but has now “unfortunately” decided to air without writers. “The Guild has, and will continue to, picket any struck show that continues production for the duration of the strike,” the spokesperson said, adding that the WGA was expected to picket outside Barrymore’s show the following day. Last week, it was announced Barrymore had also been dropped as the host of the upcoming National Book Awards as a result of her decision to bring her show back.



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