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Drew Barrymore responds to criticism over bringing her talk show back during WGA, SAG-AFTRA strikes

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Drew Barrymore has responded to critics who have questioned her decision to bring back her daytime talk show in the middle of strikes by both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

SAG-AFTRA and the WGA have been on strike together since July (the WGA strike began separately in May), putting the production of studio movies and the majority of shows across major television networks on an indefinite hiatus. Barrymore and CBS, the network that broadcasts The Drew Barrymore Show, state that the talk show will return in accordance with the rules of both strikes. It is understood that the show is covered by a contract covering talk shows, game shows, variety shows and soap operas that was ratified by union members in 2022.

The Drew Barrymore Show, which debuted in 2020, is scheduled to return on September 18. In a statement confirming its premiere date, Barrymore said that her show “may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me.” She went on to state, “I own this choice. 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.”

Barrymore previously pulled out of hosting this year’s MTV Film and TV Awards in May, the same time the writer’s strike began. In her statement shared yesterday, Barrymore said that event “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.”

After Barrymore posted about the return of her talk show, the Writers Guild of America, East shared a statement on Twitter: “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 a violation of WGA strike rules.”

Any actors who appear as guests on the upcoming season of The Drew Barrymore Show will be required to follow SAG-AFTRA strike rules, which mean they will not be able to discuss any of their work with the host. WGA picket lines are expected outside the CBS Broadcast Center today.