‘Strikebreaker’ Drew Barrymore gives in to criticism and postpones talk show 18:14 in Abroad, Culture & Media Actors and writers in Hollywood have been on strike for 138 days. Barrymore nevertheless wanted to start her talk show again, but was widely accused of being a scab by colleagues.

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Drew Barrymore
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American actress Drew Barrymore has given in to the fierce criticism of her striking colleagues and will not resume her talk show on TV channel CBS for the time being. She had previously said she would allow production to continue, but now she says she will wait until the unions and employers reach an agreement and the strikes in Hollywood are over.

“I have listened to everyone and I now decide to suspend the show’s premiere until the strike ends,” Barrymore wrote. “I can’t put into words how sorry I am.” She apologizes to “everyone I hurt and of course to our amazing team who made the show what it is today.”

Scriptwriters in Hollywood have been on strike for 138 days because they want better pay for their work, higher compensation for productions that appear on streaming services and stricter rules on the use of artificial intelligence.

Since mid-July, the Writers’ Guild of America, as the union is called, has also been supported by actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, which has put the production of all kinds of major films and series such as Stranger Things on hold for the time being.

Striking actors and writers, earlier this week in Los Angeles

As a result of the strikes in Hollywood, well-watched talk shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Steven Colbert have also been on hiatus for months. Comedian and TV personality Bill Maher’s Real Time was also no longer produced, but he announced this week that “after five months it is time to put people to work again”. The writers’ union, of which Maher is a member, has announced actions during the recordings.

The fact that Barrymore also restarted production of her show while talks between the unions and employers are still at a standstill led to great anger. Three of its writers refused to return for the time being and action took place outside the studio during recordings. Colleagues denounced Barrymore as a scab and strikebreaker. Fans also hated her.

The National Book Awards book prize also dropped Barrymore last week as the planned presenter of the awards ceremony. “The National Book Award is an evening celebrating the power of literature and the great contributions writers make to our culture. In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production, Barrymore’s invitation has been withdrawn” , the organization said.

Ellen DeGeneres

It is not the first time that talk show hosts have been called strikebreakers by angry colleagues. During the last major strike, in 2007, Ellen DeGeneres allowed her talk show to continue without her writers, much to the fury of the union. Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart and Jay Leno, among others, followed later.

The 2007 strike, which lasted 99 days, had enormous consequences for the TV landscape. Many series, including very well-watched productions such as Lost and Breaking Bad, were shorter, postponed or completely changed course. Other series, such as Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies and Heroes, could no longer appeal to their audience after the strike and disappeared from the air shortly afterwards.

At the same time, the strike led to an explosion of reality TV shows, which can be made without writers. A famous example of a show that became extremely popular at the time is The Apprentice, in which the later President Donald Trump looked for someone who could lead one of his companies.

Emmys postponed

It remains to be seen what the current strike will mean for major films and series. In any case, the annual TV awards, the Emmy Awards, which were supposed to be presented tomorrow evening, have been postponed until January.

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  • Abroad

  • Culture & Media

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