- Drew Barrymore faces the consequences of her decision to resume her talk show during the WGA strike, as her head writers refuse to return.
- Barrymore initially paused the show due to criticism but later announced its return, causing backlash from WGA members.
- Despite picketing outside the show’s studio, the writers were open to a return but have now rejected the deal, leading to interviews for new writers.
Drew Barrymore continues to deal with the fallout from her choice to resume her daytime talk show amid the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. While Barrymore eventually reversed that decision and postponed the fourth season premiere date of The Drew Barrymore Show, her head writers are now declining to return. Per The Hollywood Reporter, writers Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon, and Liz Koe have rejected a deal to work with Barrymore. Interviews for new writers are now taking place.
Barrymore announced that her eponymous show would return on September 18, but following intense criticism from WGA members and supporters, Barrymore decided to pause her show until the strike’s conclusion. The WGA strike concluded just days later, on September 27. While late-night talks shows rushed to return, The Drew Barrymore Show scheduled their fourth season premiere for October 16. While Barrymore, who has been acting since age 5, is a SAG member, it is permissible that she serve as a host while that strike continues.
White, Kinnon, and Koe’s refusal to return should come as no surprise to anyone closely following the WGA strike (or the Barrymore saga). All three women, who have worked on the show since its premiere season in 2020, picketed outside the show’s Manhattan studio on multiple occasions.
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter on September 11, White claimed that the writers had been made aware of the show’s return via social media. Asked if she would return to the daytime show post strike resolution, White responded: “Maybe no comment.”
A Timeline of Drew Barrymore’s WGA Struggles
Days after the WGA strike commenced, Barrymore showed her solidarity with striking union workers by backing out of her hosting duties for the May 7 MTV Movie & TV Awards (the strike began on May 2). Months later, however, Barrymore found herself on the wrong side of the WGA’s good graces. On September 12, Barrymore shared that the show would return on Monday, September 18, and would comply with strike rules – despite the show’s prior employment of WGA writers. While Barrymore is a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) member, her hosting duties are permissible under the SAG-AFTRA’s guidelines.
On September 15, Barrymore posted a now-deleted emotional video on social media, explaining her decision to continue with her daytime talk show. While she was apologetic to writers and unions, Barrymore stood by her choice as “jobs were on the line”:
“There’s a huge question of the why — why am I doing this? Well, I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention, and we aren’t going to break rules and we will be in compliance. I wanted to do this, because as I said, this is bigger than me and there are other people’s jobs on the line,” she shared on Instagram.
That following Sunday, September 17, Barrymore, along with The Talk and The Jennifer Hudson Show, all announced that their shows would be delaying their scheduled September 18 premiere date. Barrymore shared:
“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”
The Drew Barrymore Show returns to CBS on October 16.