Drew Barrymore has announced plans to resume filming her daytime talk show amid ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Barrymore said her show would return on September 18th without WGA writers present. She stated that the previous season ended on April 20th, before the WGA strike began in early May.
By producing new episodes without WGA writers, Barrymore’s show would be crossing the writers’ picket line. The talk show is covered under the WGA’s contract for film and TV writers, who have been on strike seeking better pay and benefits.
Drew Barrymore Wrote
“I own this choice,” Barrymore wrote. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”
Barrymore said she hoped for a swift resolution for all involved. She previously withdrew from hosting duties for the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May out of solidarity with striking writers.
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.
— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 10, 2023
On Monday, writers from Barrymore’s show joined WGA picket lines outside the CBS Broadcast Center. Two audience members wearing WGA pins were also asked to leave Monday’s taping, later joining picketers outside.
Resuming production allows Barrymore to avoid conflicting with the simultaneous SAG-AFTRA strike. Her talk show falls under the union’s separate contract covering network television. As long as Barrymore and guests avoid discussing projects affected by the SAG strike, she isn’t breaking union rules.
“It is a bummer to hear that the show is going back because it sends a message that union writers are not valuable,” said writer Chelsea White. She and others see Barrymore’s choice as misaligned with the solidarity that unions are seeking in negotiations for better working conditions.