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Why Everyone's Mad at Drew Barrymore Right Now

Barrymore has responded to backlash for continuing her talk show during the writers' strike.

Hearing that a popular show is returning from summer hiatus is usually exciting news for fans, but that's not the case in fall 2023. CBS recently announced that The Drew Barrymore Show would be returning for its fourth season on Sept. 18—but because the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is still on strike, the news isn't so straightforward. The Drew Barrymore Show employs WGA writers, so the decision for the show to go on without its writing staff has led to the WGA picketing outside of the show's studio. Drew Barrymore herself is also being criticized for deciding to continue filming, especially in light of previous comments she made in support of the striking writers.

Read on to find out more about the situation, including what Barrymore is now saying in response to the backlash.

RELATED: Drew Barrymore Became a Legal Adult at 14—Here's What Happened Next.

The Drew Barrymore Show wasn't filming when the strike began.

Drew Barrymore hosting "The Drew Barrymore Show" in 2023
The Drew Barrymore Show / YouTube

The decision to begin filming Season 4 is the first time The Drew Barrymore Show has confronted whether to produce new episodes during the WGA strike. As reported by USA Today, Season 3 wrapped filming in April prior to the strike beginning on May 2.

On Sept. 6, CBS announced that the talk show would be returning on Sept. 18. The show is scheduled to begin filming new episodes today, Sept. 11. As reported by Vanity Fair, a CBS spokesperson said that the show "will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike."

The WGA strike began after the writers' union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major Hollywood studios, failed to come to an agreement. WGA members are looking for better pay, particularly when it comes to residuals from the projects they've worked on being shown on streaming services.

In response to the strike, several late night talk shows went off the air immediately. Some daytime talk shows have been able to continue as normal, as they do not employ WGA writers.

RELATED: 5 TV Episodes So Controversial They Sparked Protests.

The WGA announced plans to picket.

In response to the news that The Drew Barrymore Show was beginning filming, the WGA announced plans to picket outside of the studio.

"The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers," the Writers Guild of America, East posted on X. "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."

The WGA also posted the schedule for picketing the New York City-based show, starting today. The WGA has picketed outside of other shows continuing on without WGA writers during the strike, including The View and Jeopardy!

RELATED: Drew Barrymore Reveals How She Got Sober After "Numbing the Pain" of Her Divorce.

Barrymore previously expressed solidarity with the writers.

Drew Barrymore at 2022 Harper's Bazaar ICONS Bloomingdale's 150th Anniversary
Ron Adar / Shutterstock

The news that Barrymore's show is returning during the strike comes after she previously voiced solidarity with the striking writers.

Two days after the strike began, Barrymore announced that she would no longer be hosting the MTV TV & Movie Awards, which aired May 7. (Many other celebrities also decided to not attend the show, and it ended up airing in a different format with pre-recorded acceptance speeches.)

"I have listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike," Barrymore said in a statement to Variety. "Everything we celebrate and honor about movies and television is born out of their creation. And until a solution is reached, I am choosing to wait but I'll be watching from home and hope you will join me."

The Charlie's Angels star added that she was looking forward to hosting the awards show in 2024.

Barrymore defended continuing her show.

In a statement posted on Instagram on Sept. 10, Barrymore said that she is "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."

She continued, "I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind … 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."

In addition to the WGA strike, the actors' union SAG-AFTRA has also been on strike since July 14. For a talk show like Barrymore's, this means that actors appearing on the show cannot promote work that is tied to the AMPTP.

She also explained her previous position.

Drew Barrymore at Variety's 2022 Power of Women: New York Event
Ron Adar / Shutterstock

Also in her Instagram post, Barrymore commented on why she stepped down from the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

"I made a choice to walk away from the MTV, film and television awards because I was the host and it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television," the actor and talk show host posted. "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."

RELATED: 6 TV Shows That Will Keep Filming Even Amid the Actors' Strike.

Fans are upset with Barrymore's decision and her statement.

Drew Barrymore hosting "The Drew Barrymore Show"
The Drew Barrymore Show / YouTube

The comments on Barrymore's Instagram post are full of people begging her to reconsider the decision to move on with the show. Others are calling her a "scab," which is a word for someone who crosses a picket line.

"You do not perform any kind of lifesaving essential work, it's a TV show. You are making a choice to cross a picket line and this is so disappointing," reads one comment.

Another commenter wrote, "You want to 'provide what the writers do so well'…meaning you want to do their jobs, while they're on strike?"

A similar comment reads, "'I want to be there to provide what writers do so well' is so disappointing when writers are currently unable to do what we 'do so well.'"

The comments on Barrymore's post come from writers who considered themselves fans, actors, and individuals outside of the industry.

"As a member of SAG/AFTRA I don't agree with your decision. We should stand WITH our writers… you should be prepared," one person wrote.

Another said they would be boycotting Barrymore's show. "As a huge fan and just a 'normal' person I am shocked that you would do this," they wrote. "I know you don't care about one person but it appears there are a lot of us who will no longer be watching. Such a shame."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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