Drew Barrymore slammed for using loophole to bring her talkshow back on air during Hollywood strike
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Featured Image Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York / The Drew Barrymore Show
People are flooding to social media to condemn Drew Barrymore for restarting her show, despite the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
The strikes first kicked off earlier this year in May led by The Writers Guild of America (WGA), and in July, the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined too.
Since then, much of Hollywood's television and film industry has ground to a halt, productions paused in line with strike rules.
In a statement shared to Instagram, Barrymore defended her decision to 'come back for the first time in this strike'.
The 48-year-old talk show host explained she originally 'made a choice to walk away from the MTV, film and television awards because [she] was the host and it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television'.
"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," she adds.
Barrymore argues her talk show 'actually wrapped on 20 April' so they 'never had to shut down the show,' but she's chosen to give it the green light now despite the ongoing strikes because the show is 'bigger than just [her'].
The post continues: "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.
"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 four once again with an astute humility."
However, WGA spokesperson Jason Gordon explained to Vanity Fair the show is 'a WGA-covered struck television show' and will subsequently be returning 'without its writers' - its writers banned from working on the production for the duration of the strike.
And people are flocking to X to criticise Barrymore's decision.
Stand-up comic, writer and TV host Adam Conover tweeted: "This is incredibly disappointing. @DrewBarrymore'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 Writers Guild of America East responded to Barrymore's post as well, stating via X: "The @DrewBarrymoreTV
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 in violation of WGA strike rules."
A CBS Media Ventures spokesperson told UNILAD: "The Drew Barrymore Show will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike."
Wendy McMahon, President and CEO of CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures, said: "I am so excited to see what Drew has in store for season four. From launching during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to successfully pivoting to a groundbreaking half-hour format, this show has demonstrated spectacular resilience and creative agility on its journey to becoming the fastest-growing show in daytime. We couldn’t have a better partner in Drew Barrymore and look forward to bringing our fans and station clients alike new episodes this fall."