All three of The Drew Barrymore Show’s head writers are reportedly refusing to return to the talk show.
Drew Barrymore, 48, is best known for starring in films such as E.T., 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer.
The Blended star has hosted her own talk show since 2020 – called The Drew Barrymore Show – and it is preparing for its fourth season to go underway.
However, there is turmoil surrounding the programme after the Charlie’s Angels actress made a controversial decision.
Last month, Barrymore found herself in hot water when she announced that the fourth season of her show would start without its writers due to the then-ongoing WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike.
Barrymore ultimately backtracked on her decision following intense backlash and delayed the season four premiere until after the strike.
She said in a tearful video: “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.”
From May 2, screenwriters went on strike over a number of issues – including the income they make off residuals due to streaming services and the threat AI services could have on their jobs.
This saw almost every film and TV show shut down its production until the WGA’s terms were met by the studios.
This also included chat shows, such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, all going off air too.
At the time of Barrymore’s announcement, a deal was yet to be struck but it came to an end on September 27 – meaning production on films and TV shows can resume.
Although the actress backtracked on her initial plans, three of Barrymore’s writers – Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon and Liz Koe – are reportedly refusing to come back, as per The Hollywood Reporter.
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According to the publication, the production is now interviewing new writers and will do so in compliance with the guild.
Although Barrymore’s initial decision was controversial to announce that the show would return without its writing staff, she did not violate any SAG-AFTRA (The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) rules.
A representative for the union told THR: “The Drew Barrymore Show is produced under the Network Television Code, which is a separate contract and is not struck. It is permissible work and Drew’s role as host does not violate the current strike rules.”
All three writers, who shared the title of co-head writer, were vocal throughout the strikes and towards the Never Been Kissed star’s choice to return.
They were reportedly seen walking the picket lines outside of Barrymore’s studio with signs reading ‘Drew’s News: Strikes’ or ‘Honk if you [love] union labour’.
Speaking to The Daily Beast after Barrymore’s initial decision, Kinon described the situation as ‘frustrating’.
She commented: “I personally understand that everybody has to make the best decision for themselves. I know that this show has a crew of hundreds of people who need to be paid, and I understand the perspectives of wanting to protect your cast, your crew and your staff.
“We’re standing with all of labour and all of the unions across the world because that is how it works. Unions only work when you stick together with unions across the labour spectrum.”
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Due to the controversy surrounding Barrymore, she has been dropped as the host of the US National Book Awards, as per Vanity Fair.
The organisation said in a statement: “In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony.”
The Drew Barrymore Show is set to return on October 16.