Drew Barrymore is taking HEAT for this decision!
The actress is set to begin production of her series The Drew Barrymore Show this week — amid TWO ongoing strikes in her industry. And it’s already pissing off a lot of people!
As Perezcious readers know, the WGA has been on strike since May while campaigning for better working conditions and fair wages. SAG-AFTRA joined them on the picket lines shortly after, and there has been pretty much no movement since — at least publicly. Of course, in order for the writers and actors to get what they want out of this, it’s important for everyone to stand strong and hold out for a good deal, no matter how long it takes. So, naturally, heads are turning in horror now that Drew is planning to start filming new content for her CBS show, which goes against the rules!! Dang. Is she about to be a scab?!?!
Drew took to Instagram with a lengthy statement on Sunday to explain her decision, seemingly in hopes of mitigating some of the drama to follow. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work!
The E.T. alum began by giving herself a pat on the back for walking away from a big gig at the start of the WGA strike, recalling in the post:
“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. 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.”
A well-received decision at the time. But now that the strike has ranged on for months, apparently she’s through with solidarity!
Announcing her return, she continued:
“And to be clear, our talk show actually wrapped on April 20th so we never had to shut down the show. However, I am also 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.”
As for how she’s going to do this, she insisted the talk show won’t be breaking any strike rules, noting:
“I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”
But it’s a bit more complicated than that! You see, Drew is actually a struck show according to the WGA! Why? Because it’s one of two daytime talk shows (alongside The Talk) that employs union writers! So by filming again without her writers, the 50 First Dates alum is directly going against what has been requested. Also, she’s not helping her writers get what they want! She’s essentially showing the studios she can produce the show perfectly fine without ’em.
On why it’s so important for her to essentially ignore the strike, she urged:
“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.”
She’s clearly aware this decision is going to ruffle a ton of feathers — and it already has! A spokesperson for the WGA told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday afternoon that members are already set to picket outside of Barrymore’s NYC studios on Monday and Tuesday in direct opposition of her choice to work on the show.
“It has stayed off the air since the strike began on May 2nd but has now (unfortunately) decided to return without its writers. The Guild has, and will continue to, picket any struck show that continues production for the duration of the strike.”
A CBS Media Ventures spokesperson, on the other hand, argued the show won’t be breaking any rules, telling the outlet:
“The Drew Barrymore Show will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike.”
The president and CEO of CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures, Wendy McMahon, also gushed:
“I am so excited to see what Drew has in store for season four. 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.”
But of course the studio’s excited! They need fresh content right now after playing so many reruns!
Had the talk show never hired union writers from the start, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Plenty of daytime shows are allowed to continue to run because they don’t hire union members — like Tamron Hall and Live With Kelly and Mark — but because she’s one of few who did employ WGA members’ services, this is a slap in the face of their fight!
And it’s not necessary for her to return, either. All the late-night talk shows have been off the air since the strike, and it doesn’t appear as if they’re going live any time soon. It’s certainly a bummer to see a union member herself going against what is best for her peers. But since she’s not backing down, she better prepare for a s**t load of backlash!
Already, thousands of fans and industry members have criticized the Never Been Kissed star for crossing the picket lines, complaining on her IG feed:
“The amount of grammar mistakes and incorrect word choices in this post alone makes resuming production without your writers especially ironic.”
“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.”
“I expected better from you. Please don’t be a scab. You do NOT have to do this.”
“Yeah, you’re complying to SAG-AFTRA strike rules, by letter of the law. You’re very deliberately violating WGA strike rules by producing a show that is struck by the WGA. You REALLY need to reconsider this.”
“You want to ‘provide what the writers do so well’…meaning you want to do their jobs, while they’re on strike? That’s not ‘astute humility.’ It’s scabbing. And it hurts the people you claim to respect.”
“As a long time fan, I am very disappointed. Your show is WGA. You are crossing a picket line. If you decide to go through with this I will never support you again and I will make sure everyone I know feels the same way. Your writers deserve better. And the rest of us writers will never forget the choice you made if you step on stage tomorrow. #WGAStrong”
“No. Nah. Nope no naw. Hell no. This ain’t it. Reconsider cuz absolutely not.”
We bet the crowds outside the studio will be equally fed up in person! And that’s not gonna be good for the longevity of her show! What a shame it would be to survive through so many other difficult times and ruin the show’s reputation now over something that she seriously could have just waited out. Wouldn’t it have been so much easier to hang out, wait for the right time to go back, and keep showing positive and well-received support to those on strike?! Ugh!!
It’ll be inneresting to see if she reconsiders. After all, she surely wasn’t expecting to have this much public anger and frustration with her decision, was she? Or maybe she’s just willing to take the fall for it now and hope that things calm down soon? Maybe that could be true in a normal news cycle, if she were to just let this thing burn out over time. But she’ll be on air daily once again very soon, and that in and of itself will be a reminder to all of her viewers about the decision she and her team made here. Ya know?!
As of now, Drew is expected to premiere its new season on September 18. Thoughts?! Will U be watching?! As it stands now, with the strikes ongoing and no apparent hope of a quick resolution between now and then, all eyes should be on Drew and her team when that premiere dates comes around. And we don’t mean that in a good way, necessarily.
Sound OFF with your takes on the matter down in the comments (below)!