Drew Barrymore's decision to return for the fourth season of her eponymous daytime talk show amid the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes is sparking controversy in Hollywood.
Barrymore, 48, shared a statement to Instagram on Sunday confirming the news and harkening back to her decision to walk away from hosting the MTV Movie and TV Awards earlier this year, saying at the time she was doing so "in solidarity with the strike."
"I made a choice to walk away from the [MTV Movie and TV 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," she wrote. "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. And to be clear, our talk show actually wrapped on April 20th so we never had to shut down the show."
She added, "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."
Barrymore said her talk show's return is "in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind," noting, "I own this choice."
"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," she continued. "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."
Barrymore's decision to return to her talk show has had some repercussions.
The National Book Foundation put out a statement Tuesday that it rescinded an invitation for Barrymore to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony in light of her announcement.
"Our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the Awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation," the organization said in a statement.
Despite Barrymore's claim that her talk show's return was compliant with the rules of the strikes, the WGA issued a statement vowing to picket the production.
"@thedrewbarrymoreshow is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning a return without its writers," read a statement from the union posted to Threads a few hours after Barrymore's statement. "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."
A schedule shared by the union to Instagram notes that a picket of Barrymore's talk show will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in New York City on Monday and Tuesday.