Drew Barrymore – Star Drops National Book Awards Hosting Gig Amid Strike Controversy

Drew Barrymore has been dropped as the host of the National Book Awards ceremony in the United States following controversy over the return of her TV show during an ongoing Hollywood strike.

Earlier this week, the talk show host and actress had stated that the return of her program would be in compliance with strike rules. However, show writers were among those opting to work in New York after filming resumed.

On Tuesday, the National Book Foundation announced that they had rescinded their invitation for her to host the Friday ceremony.

“The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the strength of literature and the unmatched contributions of authors to our culture,” the organization said in a statement.

“In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will continue production, the National Book Foundation has withdrawn its invitation for Ms. Barrymore to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony [in New York].”

‘I Had This Choice’ The National Book Foundation’s CEO had previously praised her work in advocating for books on her show.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike since early May, citing concerns over pay, conditions, and the use of AI, with actors joining the writers in July.

At the start of the strike, Barrymore resigned as host of the MTV Film and TV Awards in solidarity with WGA members on strike.

However, the star stated that she made “a choice to return for the first time during this strike action for our show, which may bear my name but is bigger than just me.”

“I had this choice,” she added, emphasizing that the show would not violate strike rules by promoting TV shows or films impacted by the strike.

“I want to be there to provide what writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us understand the human experience.”

CBS TV Network stated that her show “will not feature any writing covered by the WGA strike.”

‘Bigger Than The Drew Barrymore Show’ The show, which is set to return on September 18, typically employs at least three unionized writers, who have been picketing outside CBS Studios.

Speaking at the picket line, one of them, Chelsea White, said, “First and foremost, this is clearly bigger than just The Drew Barrymore Show and its writers.

“We’re here standing with our union and feeling proud and excited to always support our union.”

The Writers Guild stated that Barrymore’s show is “a WGA-covered show and plans to return without its writers.”

It added, “The Guild has and will continue to picket any struck show being produced during the strike. Any writing on The Drew Barrymore Show violates the WGA strike rules.”

Variety noted that Barrymore’s work as an actor on The Drew Barrymore Show does not violate current strike rules.

This is because CBS’ contracts for talk shows, game shows, variety shows, and soap operas are covered by a different actor contract that was renewed and ratified by union members last year.

The BBC has reached out to Barrymore for comment.

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