As The Drew Barrymore Show resumed its filming in New York on Monday, striking members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) picketed outside the studio and chanted, “Shut it down!”
As a result, episodes of The Drew Barrymore Show filmed during the strike will not employ any writers who belong to the WGA.
“I own this choice,” Barrymore, 48, wrote on Instagram. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”
Barrymore said the filming of her talk show wrapped on April 20, so the production never had to shut down as a result of the writers’ strike, which began on May 2. She wrote that The Drew Barrymore Show, while using her name, is “bigger than just me.”
The Charlie’s Angels actor said her talk show, which launched during the pandemic, “was built for sensitive times.”
“I hope for a resolve for everyone as soon as possible,” Barrymore concluded. “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 astute humility.”
Despite her self-proclaimed humility, striking WGA members condemned The Drew Barrymore Show for its relaunch.
“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, formerly known as Twitter, in response to Barrymore’s Sunday announcement. “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 @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 in violation of WGA strike rules.
— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 10, 2023
What is a ‘scab?’
Since Barrymore released her statement, many WGA members have questioned whether or not Barrymore is a “scab” or will employ “scab” writers, meaning someone who crosses picket lines to work in place of a striking employee.
“Sooo who is writing her opening monologue and literally everything else on this show when it starts up again next week? Scab writers?!” actor Felicia Day questioned. “Ughhhh gross Drew Barrymore. Gross.”
Sooo who is writing her opening monologue and literally everything else on this show when it starts up again next week? Scab writers?! Ughhhh gross Drew Barrymore. Gross. https://t.co/Li1hthpUm7
— Felicia Day🇺🇸 (@feliciaday) September 11, 2023
Actor Josh Malina of The West Wing made several posts calling Barrymore a scab. In one video shared to X, Malina wore a hat with a scrolling, digitized screen that read “Drew Barrymore is a scab.”
— (((Jew))) (@JoshMalina) September 11, 2023
Before production resumed, Barrymore showed support for the WGA strike when she pulled out of hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards. In May, Barrymore said she made the choice “in solidarity” with striking writers.
On the picket line
A group of about 15 writers gathered in New York to picket The Drew Barrymore Show on Monday. Screenwriter Avishai Weinberger shared footage from the protest that showed several WGA members marching in front of the CBS Broadcast Center’s loading dock.
The protesters chanted, “We don’t get it. Shut it down!” Some carried signs reading “My talk ain’t cheap!” and “You could be making money off of us!”
WGA strike: Day 133
SAG strike: Day 60
My 39th day picketing
Today we picketed Drew Barrymore, who’s producing her show while her own writers are on strike. Sorry Drew. But also, what the hell are you doing. pic.twitter.com/cNrGWxTPVO
— Avishai ✡ Weinberger (@avishaiw) September 11, 2023
Other protesters took aim at Barrymore more directly. Cristina Kinon, who is credited as co-head writer on The Drew Barrymore Show, shared a photo with Chelsea White, also co-head writer for the show, as they picketed on Sunday.
Kinon carried a sign that read, “Drew’s WGA Crew,” while White carried a Scream-inspired sign that questioned, “Do you like breaking strikes?”
During their protest, an audience member attending Monday’s taping of The Drew Barrymore Show said he and a friend accepted pins from picketing WGA members before they entered the building.
Dominic Turiczek told The Hollywood Reporter that he and his friend Cassidy Carter won free tickets to the filming nearly two weeks ago and were unaware of the strike. Turiczek said when he and Carter entered the studio with their WGA buttons donned on their shirts, they were “verbally assaulted” by the show’s crewmembers and made to leave the premises.
Instead, Turiczek and Carter accepted T-shirts and joined the picket line.
“If they think we’re part of the strike, we might as well be,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Went to @DrewBarrymoreTV after winning tickets, unaware of the #WGA strike. We took pins & went in, got kicked out, & verbally assaulted by @DrewBarrymore’s crew. It’s clear they don’t support #WGAStrong, writers or fans! #DrewTheRightThing So we took shirts and joined. Fuck that pic.twitter.com/UuyCxAS491
— Dominic Turiczek (@dom_turiczek) September 11, 2023
A spokesperson for The Drew Barrymore Show said the team regrets booting Turiczek and Carter from the in-studio audience.
“It is our policy to welcome everyone to our show tapings. Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two audience members were not permitted to attend or were not allowed access. Drew was completely unaware of the incident and we are in the process of reaching out to the affected audience members to offer them new tickets,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
Season 4 of ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’
Global News reached out to CBS for comment on the decision to resume The Drew Barrymore Show but did not receive an answer before publication time.
Wendy McMahon, president and CEO of CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures said in a statement that The Drew Barrymore Show “will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike.”
“I am so excited to see what Drew has in store for season four,” McMahon said. “From launching during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to successfully pivoting to a groundbreaking half-hour format, this show has demonstrated spectacular resilience and creative agility on its journey to becoming the fastest-growing show in daytime. We couldn’t have a better partner in Drew Barrymore and look forward to bringing our fans and station clients alike new episodes this fall.”
The Drew Barrymore Show is not the only production making the choice to return despite ongoing strikes. Warner Bros. Television’s The Jennifer Hudson Show and CBS’s The Talk are also set to return to production in the coming weeks. These productions will also continue without employing WGA writers.
The WGA strike outside The Drew Barrymore Show in New York continued Tuesday.
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