‘I Own This Choice’: Drew Barrymore Speaks Out As Show Controversially Returns Amid Hollywood Strikes

The actor's self-titled US talk show is making a comeback without writers – a move which has been condemned by the striking Writers Guild of America.
Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Drew Barrymore has stood by the decision to begin a new series of her self-titled talk show despite ongoing strikes in Hollywood.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began strike action in May and in July, they were joined by members of Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) – including everyone from huge stars to extras.

The WGA strike prevents its members from doing any writing work, even if it’s something small such as a script tweak, while SAG-AFTRA members aren’t doing any acting or promotional work, including interviews, TV appearances and social media posts.

As a result, numerous film and TV sets have shut down with all of the US late-night talk shows – including those hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel – are off-air indefinitely.

Drew, whose programme was on a pre-planned break when the WGA action started in May, controversially announced plans to bring her show back over the weekend.

And following a backlash – with the WGA themselves hitting out at the star – she’s now defended her decision.

Referencing the fact she walked away from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards as a show of support for those striking back in May, she said on Instagram: “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.”

Turning her attention to the decision to revive the Drew Barrymore Show amid the strike, she said the programme “may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me”.

“I own this choice,” she continued. “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.”

Drew’s post comes after the WGA heavily criticised the move:

The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers,” they wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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.”

With the strike action stretching into autumn, numerous big names have been seen showing their support for the cause on picket lines.

Florence Pugh joined fellow actors outside Disney’s LA studio last month and made her thoughts clear with the help of a homemade sign.

While most British actors aren’t on strike as they’re in a different union, many have shown their support with Succession legend Brian Cox delivering a rousing speech at a rally in London.


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