Drew Barrymore Show Resumes Filming Without Writers As WGA Strike Continues:
The Drew Barrymore Show returned to filming on Monday without any writers, as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike continues against the studios. CBS Media Ventures, which produces the syndicated daytime talk show, has refused to agree to a new contract with the WGA to pay writers fairly.
WGA Supporters Kicked Out of Audience
As The Drew Barrymore Show filmed its first episode back on Monday, two audience members were reportedly kicked out for wearing “Writers Guild on Strike” pins. The pair were handed the pins by WGA writers picketing outside the CBS Studio where the show films in New York. They were asked to leave before taping began in an apparent effort to avoid displaying support for the strike on camera.
WGA East President Beau Willimon condemned the removals, stating: “It’s profoundly unfair that Drew’s audience members were kicked out simply for showing their support for the writers who create the show they’re attending.”
Backlash Against Barrymore
Drew Barrymore has faced significant criticism from the WGA and TV/film industry figures over her decision to resume filming her talk show without writers. Many have accused her of undermining the strike and labeled her a “scab” for continuing production.
West Wing actor Josh Malina posted a photo of Barrymore with the word “SCAB” on it. His former co-star Bradley Whitford wrote on Twitter that “we’ll never forget” Barrymore crossing the picket line.
The WGA East and West chapters both issued statements expressing disappointment in Barrymore for filming without writers and calling on her to join negotiations for a fair deal.
No Agreement Reached With CBS
The Drew Barrymore Show is distributed by CBS Media Ventures, which produces the show. The WGA’s contract with media studios expired on May 1, 2022, and months of negotiations since then have failed to produce a new deal.
Key issues in the negotiations include increased minimum pay rates for writers and better compensation from streaming projects. The studios have so far refused concessions on streaming and rejected the WGA’s requests for reasonable pay increases.
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This led the WGA to begin its strike on March 13, with over 11,000 writers participating. But CBS Media Ventures has declined to return to the bargaining table, leading shows like The Drew Barrymore Show to film without writers.
Ongoing WGA Strike
The WGA strike is now in its second week, with picketing and rallies held daily in Los Angeles, New York, and other industry hubs. The union has emphasized its members are fighting for improved pay that keeps up with inflation and the boom in streaming content.
High-profile shows like Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and late night programs have halted production until a deal is reached. But The Drew Barrymore Show is the first syndicated daytime talk show to attempt to film during the strike.
The WGA said it will continue its strike as long as necessary to achieve a fair contract. Support for the strike remains strong, with many refusing to cross the picket line. But CBS and Barrymore’s actions have drawn intense criticism from workers facing reduced pay.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 11, 2023
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