Drew Barrymore Under Fire for Reviving Talk Show During WGA Strike

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Strike or no strike, Drew Barrymore says the show must go on.

The actress-turned-talk show host posted a statement on Instagram Sunday saying her eponymously named The Drew Barrymore Show will return on September 18th for its fourth season—without much of its writing staff, who are part of the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America strike that has shuttered much of Hollywood for the past few months.

Barrymore insisted in her post that the show would abide by the rules of the strike—and that the decision did not go against her previous promises to stand in solidarity with the strike.

“We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind,” she wrote. “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.”

“I own this choice.”

The statement comes just four months after the talk show host announced that she would stand in solidarity with the strike, and would not be hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live.

Most daytime talk shows do not employ union writers—making them free to continue filming despite the ongoing WGA strike. The Drew Barrymore show was a notable exception, and one of the few in the genre to employ union writers, alongside The Talk, which has resorted to airing reruns.

In response to Sunday’s news, the union promised to picket The Drew Barrymore Show at its studio in the CBS Broadcast Center for returning to the air without its union writing staff.

“It has stayed off the air since the strike began on May 2nd but has now (unfortunately) decided to return without its writers,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “The Guild has, and will continue to, picket any struck show that continues production for the duration of the strike.”

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