The Drew Barrymore Show’s head writers decline to return after star’s strike controversy

Host faced heavy criticism for attempting to revive her talk show during the writers’ strikes

Tom Murray
Thursday 05 October 2023 00:31 BST
Drew Barrymore slammed for now-deleted apology video

All three of The Drew Barrymore Show’s head writers have declined to return to the show following the host’s controversial decision to restart during the writer’s strikes.

Last month, the ET actor, 48, announced that her CBS talk show would start production on its fourth season despite the then-ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strikes.

She then backtracked a week later after facing intense criticism over the decision, saying that the show would be “paused” once more.

Following the resolution of the strike on 25 September, The Drew Barrymore Show is set to make its return on 16 October; however, co-head writers Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon and Liz Koe will not be returning with it, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The show is now interviewing new writers and will be in compliance with the guild, their source said.

The Independent has reached out to Barrymore and CBS for comment.

All three writers were vocal strike advocates and criticised their former boss’s decision to restart before the strike had ended.

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore (Invision)

“It is frustrating, because it will prolong the strike, and we just want it to end,” Kinon told The Daily Beast after Barrymore’s announcement.

“I personally understand that everybody has to make the best decision for themselves,” Kinon said. “I know that this show has a crew of hundreds of people who need to be paid, and I understand the perspective 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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Barrymore released a video on 15 September tearfully apologising for her decision to bring the show back, but later deleted it.

Announcing her U-turn and that the show would be “paused” again, she wrote: “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.”

The actor was also dropped from presenting The National Book Awards due to the backlash she was facing.

“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 organisation said in a statement.

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