Drew Barrymore, Why Are You Doing This To Me?

drew barrymore talk show

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In news that has devastated me to my core, Drew Barrymore is being accused of being a “scab” after announcing the return of her daytime talk show The Drew Barrymore Show without its writers during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes

Drew Barrymore is now being heavily criticised by industry members, writers, actors, and social media alike. The once near-pristine cool, funny, sweet-girl image is rapidly crumbling around Drew and it’s making my stomach churn. How could you Drew? You were running through the rain and it was so whimsy and I loved it. I was there for you when you cried finding a window in your renovations. I was rooting for you Drew and now you’ve gone and ruined everything.

Drew Barrymore Show Controversy Explained 

So much has come out over the week so I thought you might enjoy a timeline breakdown of what’s actually going on. Get your tissues ready because you might shed a tear at the memory of the Drew Barrymore we once had. 

September 10: Drew Barrymore Show Announces Its Return Without Writers

On Sunday (US time) Drew Barrymore posted on Instagram that her talk show would begin its new season saying “I own this choice” and that she is taking “a step forward to start season 4 once again with an astute humility.” 

Drew said that the talk show returning was in compliance with the SAG-AFTRA and WGA rules by “not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.” The decision, according to Drew, was to return because the show is bigger than just her, alluding to those who work on the show who need to make a living. I won’t even get into the fact that Drew Barrymore’s wealth could help her WGA writers through the strikes or companies paying their staff a living wage. 

Drew pointed to the fact that she stepped down as host of the recent MTV Film and TV Awards back in May as a show of support to the writer’s strikes.


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A post shared by Drew Barrymore (@drewbarrymore)

One good deed does not make up for one bad one, Drew. You can’t cherry pick when you want to support the strikes.

September 11: Drew Is Called A “Scab” 

Now’s when the marble statue of Drew Barrymore starts to get rock hammered. 

The day after Drew’s Instagram post, the Writers Guild of America, East posted on X calling out the show’s return. They said that The Drew Barrymore Show is “a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers” thus is “a violation of WGA strike rules.” 

People wasted no time in quickly calling Drew a “scab” — an insult used for people who leave or refuse to join a union to take a striking worker’s job — like West Wing actor Josh Malina. This one is actually quite creative. 

To add context, The Drew Barrymore Show is not in violation of SAG-AFTRA’s strike because it falls under a different contract. Instead, it is covered by WGA’s film and TV contract as the show hires writers currently on strike. For the show’s return, either herself or producers will be writing the opening monologues, jokes, and interviews that the striking writers usually do. Thus her being called a “scab”. There’s a great thread on X breaking this down further.

Actor Benjamin Siemon made a good point questioning who Drew would actually interview on the show given that actors are also on strike. Adam Conover, Adam Ruins Everything creator, said that the news was “incredibly disappointing” and pleaded for her to reconsider. Please Drew, listen to him. 

September 11: Writers Picket Outside CBS, Audience Members Say They Were Kicked Out Of Taping For Wearing WGA Pins 

Monday was not a good day for Drew Barrymore as striking writers started picketing outside CBS chanting “shut it down” and “CBS you’re a mess”. They were joined by writers of the show holding signs saying “Drew’s WGA Crew”. My personal favourite one is the Scream reference to Drew’s iconic role in the first film saying, “Do you like breaking strikes?” Good shit. 

On the same day, two audience members said they were kicked out and “verbally assaulted” at the free taping of The Drew Barrymore Show for wearing WGA pins they were given by picketers as they walked in. Yikes, that’s not a good look Drew! 

The show’s spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that “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”. Something tells me that the two won’t want new tickets as they joined the picket lines outside wearing WGA shirts. One of them told The Hollywood Reporter that they have been “disheartened” by the experience after being a fan of Drew. 

September 12: National Book Awards Drop Drew And Audience Members Bags Allegedly Searched

Things go from bad to worse as Drew Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards was revoked because of the strike saga. It’s such a niche blow but one that I can only imagine stings, especially after Drew talks about books a lot on her show. 

I don’t know who handles the press releases for the National Book Foundation but they absolutely went in on Drew saying: “The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture.” They said that due to the show resuming production, “the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony”. Ouchie.

It’s now reported that audiences leaving the taping of the show on Tuesday had their bags searched by security and had WGA support pins confiscated. I don’t know if that actually happened or if that’s even legal to do but that’s messed up.

September 15: Drew Posts Apology Video, Deletes It

It took us a while to get here but Drew finally apologised in the most Youtuber way possible; an Instagram video sitting down in front of a humble background. Ah yes, the celebrity apology video lives on.

In the video, Drew explains that she is still going to continue the show because it’s “bigger” than just her and “other people’s jobs [are] on the line”. Again, she brings up how she made the show during the pandemic, likening a global shutdown to writers not being paid a proper wage. People took the most issue with her saying if they could go on during a global pandemic “why would this sideline us?” The two are very different situations but to conflate them is an interesting move, especially given that one impacted everyone and the other impacts the livelihoods of the people who make Drew’s show possible.

Additionally, Drew’s ‘apology’ was more of a “Sorry you’re upset but I’m not changing love you bye xoxo”. Obviously, that didn’t go down well with people.

People quickly pointed to the fact that Quinta Brunson launched a strike fund to help provide financial assistance to those who work on Abbott Elementary who are impacted by the production halt.

After the additional backlash, Drew then deleted the apology.

September 17: Drew Announces The Show Will Be Postponed

In another Instagram post, Drew Barrymore said that she won’t premiere The Drew Barrymore Show until the strikes are resolved. She said, “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.”


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A post shared by Drew Barrymore (@drewbarrymore)

Commenters under the post showed thanks to Drew for listening and eventually learning from what the striking writers were asking for.

Drew Barrymore Vs The Internet

Since all this news has been coming up on my feed, I’ve been going through the seven stages of grief over the Drew Barrymore I had a few weeks ago. 

This is the only explanation I will accept. It’s not her fault everyone, she’s just trapped in that weird B-grade rom-com! 

This one just made me chuckle.

Kelly Clarkson please learn from what’s happening to your talk show host peers like Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and now Drew Barrymore. Please Kelly, I can’t lose you too. 

This article has been updated since original publication. 

Ky is a proud Kamilaroi and Dharug person and writer at Junkee. Follow them on Instagram or on X.

Image credit: CBS