Drew Barrymore has hit “pause” on her talk show’s controversial return amid the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike — and other shows have followed.
The actress and TV host was hit with backlash when she announced her show would return for its fourth season on Sept. 18. That’s because the Drew Barrymore Show employs WGA writers — who write monologues, jokes, intros, sketches and questions for the guests, among other things — and they have been striking since May. The WGA considers the show a struck show. Barrymore went ahead and taped anyway last week, as WGA writers protested. On Friday, she posted a video apologizing to writers and unions, but was committed to her decision that the show would premiere as scheduled. The video was slammed and Barrymore deleted it. Then, on Sunday, just one day before the premiere, Barrymore did an about-face. She announced her decision to “pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over.”
Other shows followed in pausing premieres: Monday was to be a big day for daytime with multiple shows returning after summer break. The Jennifer Hudson Show and The Talk, which also both also employ striking WGA writers, pulled the plug on their premieres on the heels of Barrymore’s decision. Sherri Shepherd’s eponymous show did return Monday as scheduled, but she does not employ WGA, so hers is not a struck show.