Drew Barrymore’s co-head writer Cristina Kinon is sending a message to her boss: It’s not too late to scrap the decision to resume “The Drew Barrymore Show” amid the strikes.
Barrymore has generated backlash after announcing her daytime talk show is returning Sept. 18 amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. While Barrymore herself is not violating SAG-AFTRA rules as a host (guild contracts for talk shows, game shows, variety shows and soap operas were renewed and ratified in 2022), her show does employ WGA writers like Kinon. In its return, the show will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA.
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“I personally understand that everybody has to make the best decision for themselves,” Kinon told The Daily Beast in an interview. “I know that this show has a crew of hundreds of people who need to be paid, and I understand the perspective of wanting to protect your cast, your crew and your staff.”
However, Kinon suggested that it’s important for Barrymore to adhere to the strike because the WGA is just a small fish in a big pond.
“We’re standing with all of labor and all of the unions across the world, because that is how it works,” Kinon said. “Unions only work when you stick together with unions across the labor spectrum.”
After Barrymore announced her show’s return, CBS’ “The Talk” and HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” set their own returns without WGA writers. ABC’s “The View” had already been airing new episodes when Barrymore made her announcement.
“It is frustrating, because it will prolong the strike, and we just want it to end,” Kinon said about Barrymore’s decision.
“I don’t see how what I do is different from writing for a scripted show, or writing feature films—which I also do,” Kinon added. “We’re all trying to make a career out of writing, and the AMPTP is trying to slowly chip away at that. And they wouldn’t have anything without writers; writers are the seed of all of creation.”
Kinon noted that she “would love to see” Barrymore and the show “stand in solidarity with us, and it’s not too late.” She also said other returning talk shows should reconsider “where they stand and stand in solidarity with the WGA.”
Barrymore explained her decision to return in a Sept 10. social media post, writing, “I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind. We launched live in a global pandemic. Our show was built for sensitive times and has only functioned through what the real world is going through in real time.”
After Barrymore posted about the return of her talk show, the Writers Guild of America, East shared a statement that read: “The Drew Barrymore TV show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers. The Guild has, and will continue to picket struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is a violation of WGA strike rules.”
As of now, “The Drew Barrymore Show” will return on Sept. 18.
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