Drew Barrymore announces fourth season of her talk show amid strikes

‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will return to TV screens sooner than planned due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, despite the WGA’s threat to picket the show’s studios on Monday and Tuesday, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Drew Barrymore revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that her daytime chat show will begin its fourth season shortly, in compliance with the conditions of the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) strikes. However, a Writers Guild official told The Hollywood Reporter that union members are planning to picket outside of Barrymore’s studios in New York City on Monday and Tuesday. 

“It has stayed off the air since the strike began on May 2 but has now (unfortunately) decided to return without its writers,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “The Guild has, and will continue to, picket any struck show that continues production for the duration of the strike.”

Barrymore plans to premiere its fourth season on September 18. She began her Instagram post by referring to her decision to walk away from hosting the MTV Film and TV Awards in May, in solidarity with the writers who had just gone on strike. “It had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television,” she wrote in the post and caption. “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.”

She pointed out that season three of her show had wrapped prior to the strike, so they never had to shut it down. But she is making another conscious choice now to return to work amid both the writers and actors strikes because the show is “bigger than just me.“

“I own this choice,” Barrymore continued. “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.”

The host added that her motivation to return to the talk show arose from a desire to give work for writers and entertainment for viewers during a tough period. “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 concluded.

“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.” 

As per The Hollywood Reporter, per WGA strike rules, most daytime talk shows are allowed to continue to run because a lot of them do not employ writers who are a part of the union. Two exceptions include ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ and ‘The Talk’, which went dark at the start of the strike and continues to play reruns, as do the late-night talk shows. Other daytime shows that also are airing originals include Tamron Hall and Live With Kelly and Mark.  

Actors who appear as guests will have to abide by SAG-AFTRA strike rules, which include not discussing or promoting any struck work.

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