Audience members at the Drew Barrymore Show got kicked out for their WGA pins

Drew Barrymore took to her Instagram on Sunday to announce her decision to bring back her talk show, despite the ongoing Hollywood strikes. Although Drew is a SAG-AFTRA member, her hosting duties fall under a separate contract, and thus she is not breaking any SAG-AFTRA strike rules. As for whether the move is breaking WGA strike rules, at first glance it seems complicated. Late night talk shows stopped production as soon as the writers strike began in early May — part of why hosts started the Strike Force Five podcast to raise money for their writers — while daytime talk shows like The View have carried on, claiming they’re simply not using their union writers. So perhaps the opinion that matters most right now is that of the WGA itself, and they say that The Drew Barrymore Show returning now is unequivocally a violation of strike rules:

The Writers Guild of America, East announced it would be picketing Barrymore’s New York based daytime talk show.

“The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers,” a tweet from their Twitter account reads. “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 the WGA strike rules.”

In her statement Barrymore, who is one of the show’s executive producers, wrote that she owns the choice to return to production at a time when many talk shows have gone dark in solidarity with the strikes.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

A spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures, which produces the talk show, told CNN in a statement that “The Drew Barrymore Show will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike.”

[From CNN]

So basically the producers (who the unions are striking against) are using the same line as The View. It’s a very technical, lawyer-approved way of saying the shows are not using work by union members. Which means they’re saying — by omission — that non-union writers or producers are generating material. Honestly my takeaway is that we’re late in asking why The View, Live with Kelly and Mark, et al are still in production.

But wait, there’s more! As if Drew hadn’t landed herself in enough of a quagmire, on Monday her crew kicked out (and allegedly “verbally assaulted”) two audiences members who showed up to a taping wearing WGA pins:

Meanwhile, X/Twitter user Dominic Turiczek took to social media to document being “kicked out” of today’s “Drew Barrymore Show” taping.

“Went to @DrewBarrymoreTV after winning tickets, unaware of the #WGA strike. We took pins & went in, got kicked out, & verbally assaulted by @DrewBarrymore ‘s crew. It’s clear they don’t support #WGAStrong, writers or fans! #DrewTheRightThing So we took shirts and joined. F— that,” Turiczek wrote.

“We knew about the #WGA strike, just not that they were picketing at Drew’s show. We were unaware until inside, that her show had WGA writers, thus crossing picket lines by starting again. We won the tickets last minute and didn’t do enough research, clearly,” the message continued.

In a statement to Variety, a “Drew Barrymore Show” spokesperson addressed the booted audience members.

“It is our policy to welcome everyone to our show tapings,” the spokesperson said. “Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two audience members were not permitted to attend or were not allowed access. 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.”

[From Variety]

What a mess! I’m dying to know if the show does reach out and make the situation right, like really make a teachable moment out of it and invite them back to speak for a minute, wearing the damn pins. Or will the show do it Buckingham Palace style, wait a few weeks and invite them to sit with the crew members who attacked them? Do let us know, Dominic!

The last point I want to make is that if Drew really isn’t breaking strike rules, and by that I mean not employing writers or any written material. If that is the case, then the show will be… Drew speaking extemporaneously? Unless your name is Stephen Fry, any actor-turned-host who thinks they can deliver quality material off the cuff for 30-60 minutes 5 days a week, well they might actually end up convincing the studios to give the writers everything they want.

photos credit: JPI Studios / Avalon and via Instagram

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19 Responses to “Audience members at the Drew Barrymore Show got kicked out for their WGA pins”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Her show is a struck show and that is why WGA is picketing. Daytime has different contracts and some writers are not WGA. So some stuff will be written but much won’t. Same with The View, which has been picketed since the beginning of May.

    • DK says:

      And saying “we can do our work without writers” is in no way supportive of WGA members and writers in general. What a poor decision on Drew’s part (and the View, etc.)
      It would be great if SAG-AFTRA kicked them all out as scabs in solidarity.

  2. ChillinginDC says:

    Shaking my head.

  3. ML says:

    Drew is a scab.
    If she really felt that she were doing nothing wrong, she would have had the WGA writers on her show. And allowed the guests with the pins the first time around—not after it brought her show bad press.
    Drew and her bestie, Nancy Juvonen—Jimmy Fallon’s wife—have their own company. Drew has had a decent reputation for being friendly…I don’t think she’s the first to film by accident. If she wanted the people who work for her to have better living standards, she would be filming her show.

  4. Mesha Nova says:

    So disappointed in her! Thought she was better than this.

  5. Nic919 says:

    Drew is making a lot of enemies doing this. I’m not sure why she can’t make an interim agreement like some of the other talk shows have done in past strikes. But if she is really concerned about paying her staff, she could find another way.

  6. Mireille says:

    The last point I want to make is that if Drew really isn’t breaking strike rules, and by that I mean not employing writers or any written material. I
    –Even if she’s not technically breaking union rules, this is not a good look for her or the show. She’s not supporting WGA at all by doing this. Is her show even popular? It will be interesting to see who goes on her show during the strike.

  7. Lolalola says:

    Wow, so disappointing. And the PR claiming the show was designed for difficult times? I’m speechless at the stupidity. Who needs Drew’s talk show during a strike? This is clueless, money-grubbing, out of touch behavior for someone who claims she’s not a diva. Shame on Drew.
    Ps I do love that her decision to do this resulted in her being fired from hosting the national book awards.

    • ML says:

      LolaLola, Thanks for the info on Drew being fired from the National Book Awards for being unkind to writers:

      • kirk says:

        Yes, Lolalola thanks for the info on the uninvite, and thank you ML for the link. Have never really gotten into watching daytime talk shows, even though I’m now retired after having worked away from home for many years. So, rarely watch anything more than occasional clips. But this really sours me on her. You know if someone had voluntarily given striking writers what WGA was asking, it would be one thing. Bottom line is that Drew Barrymore is acting anti-union, therefore I’m anti-Drew.

        Is she beyond redemption? Let’s wait and see for if and when she does anything meaningful to fix her mess.

  8. Torttu says:

    Wow this is so bad.
    Have your stupid show if you want, but do something good with it! Invite Drescher to talk about why the strike is still going on. Interview an AI developer.
    This happened with covid too, some stars clearly cannot handle not being in limelight every second.

  9. Susie says:

    Someone said most likely her ratings have never been good and they don’t even show the full hour in some regions like DC. So most likely the studio said either she comes back or they cancel the show fully. They are probably using her as the test case cuz her show is popular she has very high brand likability and that may help the public stomach scabbing and allow for other daytime shows to eventually cross the picket line. And if it doesn’t it will be her that takes the hit and they were planning on cancelling anyway so who cares.
    I get that she wants everyone to keep their job but she is insanely rich even for Hollywood with all her product lines she could help out or fundraise.
    I think she and her people are underestimating how high the impact will be on her image. Esp since she is a brand with many many product lines dependent on her likability. This summer has been the highest support for unions in decades. Her brand has always been positivity and empathy for the common people. Someone who is incredibly rich and connected but feels human. The opposite of Gwyneth paltrow. She will probably take a life long hit as a scab. And if others follow her lead she will be seen as one of the first productions to break the seal after a summer of strong solidarity. The internet love helped her ratings after her flop at the beginning. Now they will turn on her. I hope she changes her mind for the overall strike solidarity but also for her brand.

  10. Twin Falls says:

    “So, like reality TV, sports, morning news shows, soap operas, and game shows, performers on talk shows are not currently on strike.“

    Her own staff writers are picketing the show returning, though. What an absolute pile of shit she’s in.

  11. Coco says:

    Drew Drew Drew, you can’t say you support the writers when those very writers are saying they don’t feel supported by you and what you are doing is hurting them.

    Another thing I noticed is Drew is staying silent and letting CBS be her mouthpiece. She didn’t even make a statement about what happened with those two people getting kicked out CBS did. I wonder if this was all worth it to her.

    Good for the National Book Awards

  12. Deering24 says:

    Yeesh, talk about a truly tone-deaf, rock-stupid unforced error. Is she getting advice from the RF or something? 🤬

  13. bisynaptic says:

    “Simply not using their union writers” is called “scabbing”.