Barrymore’s show will begin airing new episodes on Monday but plenty of off-air controversies will dog its usually fiery host.
NEW YORK — “The Drew Barrymore Show” will begin airing new episodes on Monday, but plenty of off-air controversy will cling to its usually fiery host.
Barrymore – the daughter of a proud acting dynasty – is making her new series of syndicated talk shows despite obstructionists outside her studio, as daytime television becomes the new battleground best in the world Labor conflicts are taking place in Hollywood.
“We are about four months into this strike and it is not surprising that there are defectors,” he said. Michael H. LeRoy, professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “I couldn’t have predicted that this would happen on daytime television, but everyone has a breaking point in a labor dispute.”
“The Drew Barrymore Show,” which operates without its three union writers, is not the only daytime show continuing. “The View” is back for its 27th season on ABC, concurrently “Tamron Hall” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan” — which is not governed by writers union rules — is also producing new episodes. “The Jennifer Hudson Show” and “The Talk” will also resume on Monday.
As long as hosts and guests do not discuss or promote work covered by television, theater or streaming contracts, they are not technically violating the strike. That’s because talk shows are made under a separate contract – the so-called Network Code – from the contract under which the actors and writers are striking. Network Code also includes reality television, sports, morning news shows, soap operas and game shows.
“I know there’s nothing I can do to make this right for those who are unhappy. I completely accept that,” Barrymore said in a video posted Friday on Instagram and has since been deleted. “I just want everyone to know my intention was never to be sad or hurt again. . That’s not me.”
Attack pits are underway American Writers Association and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.
Predictably, the return of the daytime host, producers and crew will create some awkward exchanges Zayd Ayers Dohrn, a writer, professor, and director of the MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage at Northwestern University.
“It was surprising when they returned to work with their own writers protesting outside the studio doors,” said Dohrn, a member of the writers’ association. “They are literally walking past the picket lines of the workers they say they are supporting.”
Barrymore’s decision to return to the air was met with opposition on social media. “You have the heart and mind to tap into more community needs than this,” wrote one viewer on Instagram. Another was more blunt: “You can’t play a generous and approachable character when it benefits you financially and then backslide when your pocketbook is at risk.”
Actor and activist Alyssa Milano, who had a years-long friendship with Barrymore, also criticized the comeback, called it “not a great move.”
“I love her very much – I grew up with her – but I’m not sure if this is the right move for the strike. I’m sure in her eyes it was the right move for her and the show, but for the WGA, SAG and the powerful union – not a great move.”
Barrymore’s stance has also been met with some confusion since her departure as host. MTV Movie and TV Awards in May, the first major awards show to air during the strike. “I have listened to the writers and to truly respect them, I will move to host the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike,” she wrote at the time.
Since then, she has lost another hosting gig: the National Book Awards in November. The organization rescinded her invitation “after it was announced that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ would resume production.”
LeRoy, who has studied struggles between workers and employers for 30 years, warns that TV shows like Barrymore’s may think they can survive without using union journalists but may pay a high price in the long run.
“There will be no more members of the Writers Guild working on that program,” he said. “It’s a short-term, pleasant moment or a temporary moment for Drew Barrymore and maybe others, but in the long run, in my view, they’ve essentially given themselves an early retirement .”
He noted that other strikes in the past have left bitter feelings for decades, such as when Major League Baseball umpires went on strike in 1999. New umpires were hired and mingled with the veterans but tensions continued.
“For the next 25 years, those umpires would not talk to each other if they were assigned to officiate games together,” LeRoy said. Twenty-five years of alienation. People don’t forget that.”
Viewers tuning in to new episodes of the daytime talk show today will see a changed landscape. Guests aren’t always A-listers with blockbuster TV shows or movies to promote. Since the strike began, authors, musicians and comedians are filling the gaps.
This week, Neil deGrasse Tyson joined “Live With Kelly and Ryan” to talk about the science behind the Hulk while Cedric The Entertainer was telling Hall about his debut novel. Matthew McConaughey was on “The View” to promote his book “Just Because.”
Presenters like Barrymore could find themselves in a losing position – contractually obliged to return to work but certain to anger their colleagues when they do. Last week she took note “This is bigger than just me.”
Bill Maher, who also announced that he would return to his late-night talk show, gave the reason as wanting to help all his employees, the writers said. “are not the only ones with problems, troubles and worries.”
Dohrn disagrees: “They talk about wanting to support people who are struggling. But it’s not just smooth sailing for Bill Maher, Drew Barrymore and ‘The View’ hosts. They could very easily side with their industry peers and say, ‘We’re not going to offer the studio until they make a fair offer,'” he said.
“They are deciding to go back to work for a lot of complicated reasons and ultimately trying to break the strike.”