Drew Barrymore is being criticized by fellow actors and writers on social media for her decision to bring back her eponymous daytime talk show amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. “The Drew Barrymore Show” is set to return Sept. 18.
While Barrymore is not violating SAG-AFTRA rules as the host of the show (guild contracts for talk shows, game shows, variety shows and soap operas was renewed and ratified in 2022), her show does employ WGA writers. This means new episodes of “The Drew Barrymore Show” will have to utilize either violating WGA members, non-WGA writers or no one. A spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures told Variety the show will “not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike.”
“Drew Barrymore has always been someone who recognized her privilege and aimed to evolve, so I hope she will reconsider this hasty decision intended to pay her crew because it weakens both unions to openly endorse scabbing,” TV writer Gennefer Gross posted.
TV personality Felicia Day added, “Sooo who is writing her opening monologue and literally everything else on this show when it starts up again next week? Scab writers?! Ughhhh gross Drew Barrymore. Gross.”
“This is incredibly disappointing,” comic and writer Adam Conover wrote. “Drew Barrymore’s show employs WGA writers who are currently on strike. She is choosing to go back on the air without them, and forcing her guests to cross a picket line. Drew: This harms your writers and all union workers. Please reconsider.”
“The West Wing” star Josh Malina posted a photo of Barrymore to Twitter/X with the word “SCAB” attached, while his former co-star Bradley Whitford wrote that “we’ll never forget” Barrymore’s decision to go back on the air amid the strikes.
Barrymore herself explained her decision to return in a Sept 10. social media post, writing, “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. Our show was built for sensitive times and has only functioned through what the real world is going through in real time.”
After Barrymore posted about the return of her talk show, the Writers Guild of America, East shared a statement that read: “The Drew Barrymore TV show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers. The Guild has, and will continue to picket struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is a violation of WGA strike rules.”
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