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Drew Barrymore's Latest Snub Proves She Missed The Bigger Picture When It Comes To The Writers' Strike

Photo: Ron Lach, halfpoint, vm, Biod / Canva; lev radin / Shutterstock
Drew Barrymore

On September 11, 2023, Drew Barrymore made a decision to return to the air with her talk show, "The Drew Barrymore Show," despite the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. 

Her decision has caused major backlash, including the National Book Foundation’s choice to rescind her invitation to host the 74th annual National Book Awards on November 15, 2023.

Drew Barrymore’s snub from the National Book Awards proves she missed the bigger picture about the writers’ strike.

On September 12, 2023, the National Book Foundation released a tweet announcing they reversed their decision to have Barrymore host the National Book Awards, a celebration of literary achievements.

“The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture,” the tweet stated. The Foundation emphasized that they exist to “celebrate writers and books,” noting that Barrymore’s renewed production of her talk show was a direct catalyst for them asking her to step aside.

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In her Instagram announcement about her show’s return amidst the strikes, Barrymore explained her choice to resume production.

She referred to her past decision to step away from hosting the MTV Film and Television Awards as an act of solidarity with the strikes, a reference that makes her latest decision appear hypocritical and one that acts against striking writers’ best interests.

She explained that the show “may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me.” She went on to say, “I own this choice.”

Barrymore framed her show’s return as a move supporting the greater good of creative output, yet doing so sends a loud, clear message to writers everywhere: Your long-term career goals don’t actually matter.

The Writers Guild of America is fighting for the longevity of writing as a viable career. They’re fighting for an expansion of protections for writers in the field, including increased residuals for streaming programs and regulations on the use of artificial intelligence in writing.

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Barrymore’s choice to bring her show back during the writers' strike is like putting a band-aid over a gaping wound. 

She explained her intentions in her post, saying, “I want to be there to provide what writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us make sense of the human experience.”

In organizing her show’s return, Barrymore appears to have missed the larger point. The strike is about the day-to-day conditions writers face, yet it’s also about a huge existential issue: Recognizing that writers do work of value and deserve equitable compensation for their ongoing creative contributions to an industry that can’t exist or fully thrive without them.



Barrymore is a freethinking adult, capable of making her own choices. Yet she also needs to reckon with the fact that those choices have actionable consequences, and they ripple out in ways she might not have expected.

The National Book Foundation made an equitable choice. In removing Barrymore as the host for a huge literary event, they showed that their focus is actually on writers.

Their decision was made out of deference and respect for an industry full of difficulties and doubts. To support writers means doing so at all times, not just when it’s simple or convenient, or when the optics serve the cause. 

Speaking from experience, writers want to write. No working writer is happy to be on strike. It’s a stressful, anxiety-provoking situation. But the writers involved know that this fight is, in fact, bigger than all of them combined — it’s about an inclusive, creative, autonomous future for everyone. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.