Drew Barrymore: Striking writers picket show recording in New York

Drew Barrymore: Striking writers picket show recording in New York

September 12, 2023   06:44 pm

Striking writers in Hollywood have picketed the recording of Drew Barrymore’s talk show in New York.

Writers Guild of America members and those who write for The Drew Barrymore Show demonstrated outside CBS Studios.

The guild has been on strike since the beginning of May, with actors joining them in July over concern about pay, conditions and the use of AI.

The actress and TV host said earlier this week that the show’s return would be in line with strike rules.

She said the series “may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me”.

WGA spokesman Jason Gordon told Vanity Fair: ”The Drew Barrymore Show is a WGA-covered struck television show. It has stayed off the air since the strike began on May 2nd, but has now (unfortunately) decided to return without its writers.”

However, although writers are not working on the programme as it returns, Variety noted, Barrymore’s work as a performer on The Drew Barrymore Show is not a violation of current strike rules.

That’s because the CBS show is covered by a different Sag-Aftra contract than the one in dispute. The contract which covers talk shows, game shows, variety shows and soaps was renewed and ratified by union members last year.

Barrymore said the programme would comply with rules not to “discuss or promote film and television that is struck of any kind” when it returned.

Barrymore previously stepped down as host of the MTV Film and TV Awards in May, in solidarity with the striking WGA members.

In her Instagram statement, she explained: “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.”

But, she continued: “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,” she added.

Barrymore, who first shot to fame as a child actress in the 80s when she starred in E.T., also explained how the last season of her show finished on 20 April so had never had to shut down during the strikes, which began a couple of weeks later.

Talk shows generally have fewer writers attached to them than scripted shows.
Barrymore she said she hoped her show’s return would “provide what writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us make sense of the human experience”.

But one writer, David Guggenheim, commented on her post: “You are definitely going to be bringing us writers together... when we picket your show tomorrow.”

Source - BBC

- Agencies 

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