Drew Barrymore’s talk show is returning to television despite the ongoing WGA/SGA strikes.
The announcement came on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 10) via a statement on Instagram. “I made a choice to walk away from the MTV, film, and television awards because I was the host and it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television,” wrote Barrymore about pulling out of MTV’s award show in May.
The 48-year-old actress and host continued, “It was also in the first week of the strike and so I did what I thought was the appropriate thing at the time to stand in solidarity with the writers. And to be clear, our talk show actually wrapped on April 20th so we never had to shut down the show.”
“However, I am also making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me,” she added.
Daytime talk shows like The Drew Barrymore Show employ writers who are members of the Writers Guild of America. The WGA officially went on strike (May 2) and halted other syndicated shows such as NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show and CBS’ The Talk. Other shows such as ABC’s Live With Kelly and Mark, Tamron Hall, and The View are unaffected by the strikes since the shows are mostly unscripted, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind. We launched live in a global pandemic,” Barrymore continues. “I want to be there to provide what writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us make sense of the human experience. I hope for a resolve for everyone as soon as possible. We have navigated difficult times since we first came on air. And so I take a step forward to start season 4 once again with an astute humility.”
However, the East Coast branch of the WGA does not share Barrymore’s “togetherness” sentiment and has announced plans to picket tomorrow (Sept. 11) outside of the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City where the show is taped.
“This is so disappointing. I would hope you’d be better than this. As a woman who has staked her life and livelihood on recovering from exploitative practices within Hollywood to turn around and try and make a profit during a labor movement?,” wrote one X user in light of Barrymore’s announcement.
The entertainment industry is currently experiencing major strikes by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA unions to address fair and equitable deals for the writers and actors from major studios. The WGA is advocating for higher wages to address market shifts, especially for writers of streaming-only shows with shorter seasons, along with improved health care and pension coverage for its members.
SAG-AFTRA’s strike is due to outdated contracts that do not address industry changes like streaming and AI and is already delaying projects such as Deadpool 3 and the fifth season ofStranger Things. The strikes also caused the Television Academy and Fox to announce that the Emmy Awards will be delayed until 2024.
We stand with the writers, but we also understand where Drew is coming from.