Drew Barrymore’s decision to delay the return of her daytime talk show, “The Drew Barrymore Show,” has sent ripples through the entertainment industry.
The reversal of her initial plan, which was to premiere the show on September 18 without writers during a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, came after intense backlash and scrutiny.
In an Instagram post, Barrymore expressed her deep apologies and empathy for those affected by her previous decision: “I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over… We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.” This move was met with support from CBS Media Ventures, responsible for the show’s distribution.
As a result of this decision, “The Drew Barrymore Show” will air repeats for the foreseeable future, with episodes taped last week remaining unaired. The Writers Guild of America also canceled its planned pickets of the show, redirecting their efforts to picket “The View,” a WGA-covered struck show.
Barrymore’s initial choice to proceed with the show despite the ongoing labor strikes in Hollywood drew significant criticism. It was reported that her decision was partially influenced by contractual obligations with station partners in the daytime TV business. However, this decision had far-reaching consequences, including the National Book Awards rescinding Barrymore’s invitation to host its annual award ceremony.
While Barrymore wouldn’t have been in violation of SAG-AFTRA rules as long as her show didn’t discuss or promote struck work (according to the Network Code agreement allowing daytime hosts to perform their duties), the show does rely on union writers. Consequently, new episodes would have needed to be produced without the support of these writers.
The WGA had strongly condemned Barrymore’s initial decision, stating, “Drew Barrymore should not be on the air while her writers are on strike fighting for a fair deal. In reality, shows like this cannot operate without writing, and that is struck work.” As of now, the WGA has not issued a response to Barrymore’s change in programming.
Following Barrymore’s decision to postpone her show, CBS’ “The Talk” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show” also announced delays in their return plans. Other daytime talk shows that have returned this season, such as “The View,” “Live With Kelly and Mark,” and “Tamron Hall Show,” have either been airing without writers or are not covered by the WGA.
In a now-deleted video, Barrymore publicly acknowledged her responsibility for the situation and the impact on others’ jobs. She said, “I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention. I wanted to do this because, as I said, this is bigger than me, and there are other people’s jobs on the line.”
Barrymore’s decision has shed light on the complexities and challenges surrounding labor disputes in the entertainment industry, with consequences rippling across various shows and events.