The program known as The Drew Barrymore Show is set to return for a fourth season this fall, and the striking workers with the Writer’s Guild of America are not too happy about it.
While Barrymore is claiming that she is following the rules of the work stoppage with the new season, WGA leadership says that the program is a struck show, and any return is violating the strike and will result in people crossing the picket line.
“It has stayed off the air since the strike began on May 2nd but has now (unfortunately) decided to return without its writers,” said a WGA spokesperson to The Hollywood Reporter. “The Guild has, and will continue to, picket any struck show that continues production for the duration of the strike.”
The union was thoroughly unimpressed by the statement released by Barrymore that attempted to explain away her decision to start up the talk show again, this time without employing any writers. It’s no surprise that striking writers are taking issue with someone sending the message that programming can continue without them while they’re trying to fight for decent pay, conditions, and rights.
She starts by boasting that she refused to host the MTV Film and TV Awards back in May in solidarity with the strike while also admitting that the last season of her show wrapped before the strike started, so she hasn’t had to sacrifice it at all for the sake of the workers. Also, she doesn’t intend to start now.
“I own this choice,” she says. “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.”
Of course, if Barrymore really feels like this is such an important job, she might be better off doing what they say is needed in order for them to be able to survive while doing said job.
Many of the daytime talk shows have continued to air new content due to the fact that they don’t employ writers covered by the WGA, but The Drew Barrymore Show is not one of them. The union therefore argues that she is directly violating their rules by continuing the show and denying work to the unionized writers she hired and initially claimed she would support.
Other talk shows with WGA writers, including most late-night programs, have been airing reruns and refusing to produce new content in solidarity with the strike. It’s unclear why Barrymore thinks that she and her particularly show are so special, but the way she ends her statement on the issue is incredible.
“And so I take a step forward to start season 4 once again with an astute humility.”
One Barrymore fan even said they went to a taping of the talk show after they won tickets, unaware that there was a strike going on, and was “verbally assaulted” by the production crew when they were kicked out for wearing pro-strike pins.
Barrymore is not currently the most popular celebrity among union supporters right now, judging by the tweets and memes.