Drew Barrymore has opted not to go forward with the return of her talk show after being strongly criticized by the WGA.
UPDATE: Drew Barrymore has opted not to go forward with the planned return of her show. She wrote the following on her Instagram:
I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.
The decision on the part of Drew Barrymore and Bill Maher to move forward with their namesake programs has prompted some intense backlash against the hosts, with many saying they are betraying their talent amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. Just a few days after Barrymore said she would “own [the] choice” to bring The Drew Barrymore Show, she posted an Instagram video defending the move. This video has since been deleted, while Maher has remained quiet on social media over any disapproval.
In the video, Drew Barrymore stated, “I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention…We aren’t gonna break rules, and we will be in compliance. I wanted to do this because as I said, this is bigger than me, and there are other people’s jobs on the line.” Last week, picketers were seen directly targeting Barrymore and the production.
Bill Maher, meanwhile, has also taken the approach of saying that his writers are only a portion of Real Time. “The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns. Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily.” Of note, Real Time resumed production during the 2007-2008 writers strike as well.
That both Drew Barrymore and Bill Maher are being slammed online as scabs for being unsympathetic to the writers during the strike shouldn’t be a surprise. Things have been heating up over the last nearly 150 days of the Writers Guild of America strike, especially since meetings between the guild and the AMPTP have gone virtually nowhere. Talks are expected to resume again this week.
Other prominent talk show hosts – namely the late night gang of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver – have instead launched a limited podcast in which all proceeds will go to writers put out of work by the strike.
What do you think about shows like Drew Barrymore’s and Bill Maher’s resuming production without writers? Do you think this completely betrays the writers strike or is it time to press ahead? Give us your take in the comments section below!