Drew Barrymore defends talk show return amid ongoing strike

Drew Barrymore defends talk show return amid ongoing strike

Drew Barrymore has defended herself on Instagram after the announcement that her eponymous chat show would resume during the ongoing strikes landed her in hot water with many of her peers.

The Drew Barrymore Show is set to premiere season 4 on September 18, during a time when the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are both striking against the major studios over pay, residuals and the use of AI.

Amidst this controversy, which is exacerbated by Barrymore stepping down as an award ceremony host in support of the writers strike, the actress has claims her justification for the show's return is that it is "bigger than just me" and can "help us make sense of the human experience".

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Her post reads: "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. 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.

"And to be clear, our talk show actually wrapped on April 20 so we never had to shut down the show. However, I am also making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me. I own this choice.

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"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 4 once again with an astute humility," she concluded.

The statement has only prompted more backlash from industry workers, with the WGA stating its intention to picket the show today (September 11) and tomorrow.

A social media post reads: "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."

Related: How the writers strike could impact what you watch

Among the actors criticising Barrymore's decision is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Benjamin Siemon, who has questioned the point of bringing the show back now. Taking to Twitter/X, he said: "Who is she going to interview? No actors can promote anything. I like Drew Barrymore but she's making a mistake here. No one should do non-union writing for this show."

The Drew Barrymore Show airs on CBS in the United States.

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