Drew Barrymore Loses Awards Show Hosting Gig Amid Talk Show Backlash

Drew Barrymore may be getting her daytime talk show back, but it’s not coming without a cost.

The National Book Awards have dropped Barrymore as the host of this year’s ceremony following the news that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production in spite of the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike. In a statement, the National Book Foundation, which hands out the prestigious annual awards, made it clear that the return of Barrymore’s show is the reason for their decision: “The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture. In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards ceremony.”

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The statement added that “our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the Awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation.”

The Drew Barrymore Show will return for its fourth season next Monday, Sept. 18, even though there’s no resolution in sight to the months-long impasse between the Writers Guild of America and the AMPTP. Barrymore defended the decision to return earlier this week, saying: “I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind… 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.”

The Screen Actors Guild is also currently on strike, but Barrymore’s presence on her show would not be considered a violation of that strike since daytime talk shows are governed by a separate acting contract. However, the show’s writers are covered by the WGA, with the writers’ guild explicitly stating that The Drew Barrymore 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.”

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