Drew Barrymore Says Talk Show Will Return Amid Strikes – WGA Issues Picket Alert

The Drew Barrymore Show season 4. (Credit: CBS Media Ventures)

Drew Barrymore announced her talk show will resume production, despite the ongoing Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

In a statement posted to Instagram Sunday, the actress, producer, and TV host said she decided it was time to return to work as the dual strikes continue, with no end in sight.

“I own this choice,” Barrymore wrote. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”

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Barrymore began by explaining why she decided to return to the studio, after dropping out as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May, in solidarity with the WGA strike.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

Back on May 4, Barrymore said, “I have listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live.”

On Sunday, she said her talk show — which launched in fall 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic — is used to functioning “through what the real world is going through in real time.”

Drew Barry More Instagram Post About Strikes (Credit: Instagram)
Instagram

Barrymore executive produces the daytime talk show alongside Jason Kurtz. The program is produced and distributed by CBS Media Ventures and filmed in New York City.

CBS sent out a press release last week saying the show’s fourth season would premiere on Sept. 18, “with a lineup of cutting-edge guests and key influencers.” While Barrymore frequently welcomes her celebrity friends to the show, actors are barred from promoting studio films and TV shows during the SAG-AFTRA strike.

The CBS announcement caught the attention of the WGA, which issued a call for members to picket outside the studio where the program is filmed.

“NYC Picket alert! Tomorrow,” the WGA East tweeted Sunday.

“Join us in holding the picket line at The Drew Barrymore Show as they resume taping, in the middle of dual Hollywood strikes,” the union wrote with a notation that picketing starts at 6:30 am ET.

Later Sunday, the WGA released a statement warning Barrymore any writing on her show violates strike rules.

“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,” the union said.

The WGA work stoppage began on May 2, while actors represented by SAG-AFTRA started walking the picket line on July 14.

Both unions are calling for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP ), which represents the studios and streaming services, to increase residuals from streaming and set new rules limiting the use of artificial intelligence technology in production. The WGA additionally wants industry standards on the number of writers assigned to each TV show.

The WGA represents 11,500 writers nationwide, while SAG-AFTRA has 160,000 members.

The studios met with writers guild reps on Aug. 22, but the union released a statement saying Hollywood execs and the AMPTP held the meeting “to get us to cave.”

The AMPTP has previously said it made a “generous” offer, which was rejected by the writers union.