Drew Barrymore is in hot water after announcing that she would resume filming her talk show amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which has been in place since May 2023.
In a statement posted on Instagram over the weekend, Barrymore explained that her decision to step away from hosting the MTV Movie & TV awards last spring was because “it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television” and that she thought the “appropriate thing at the time to stand in solidarity with the writers.”
Barrymore then shared that her show wrapped on April 20, so she never had to technically cancel taping the show, but now that is time for the new season, “The Drew Barrymore Show” will go on, despite the strikes. The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are also on strike with the WGA.
“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 wrote. “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.”
Season 4 of the Drew Barrymore show is set to return on September 18.
Barrymore’s decision was met with criticism from the Writers Guild of America who announced via their own social media that they would be picketing the show, as it is a “WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers.”
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
On Monday, a man named Dominic Turiczek claimed that he and a friend were kicked out of the show (after winning tickets to watch a taping) for wearing WGA pins, not realizing that Barrymore’s show was involved in the dispute with the ongoing writer’s strike.
Once inside, Turiczek claims he “got kicked out” and “verbally assaulted” by staff, prompting him to grab a shirt and join the strike himself.
We knew about the #WGA strike, just not that they were picketing at Drew’s show. We were unaware until inside, that her show had WGA writers, thus crossing picket lines by starting again. We won the tickets last minute and didn’t do enough research, clearly.
— Dominic Turiczek (@dom_turiczek) September 11, 2023
A spokesperson for “The Drew Barrymore Show” confirmed the dismissal of the two audience members to Variety in a statement.
“Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two audience members were not permitted to attend or were not allowed access,” a spokesperson for the show told the outlet. “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.”