Drew Barrymore is returning to daytime TV.
This may be taken as a welcome announcement for some who watch the celebrity's sunny talk show, but it's a point of contention with those behind it, still striking for better pay and work security.
Back in April, "The Drew Barrymore Show" had just wrapped its third season. The following month, unionized writers, some of whom worked on the show, began their strike, with actors joining the picket line in July.
Barrymore has shown solidarity with the striking groups, with her decision to step down as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May receiving praise from striking Writers Guild of America members and fans alike.
But it's a different picture amid her latest announcement, with writers now turning to picket the production of the show itself, which taped its first episode of the fourth season Monday afternoon, now scheduled to air on Sept. 18.
Barrymore said the new season will be in compliance with the SAG-AFTRA strike rules barring any discussion or promotion of film and television projects that are "struck," meaning union members aren't allowed to work on them.
But the show does typically employ Writers Guild members, meaning the new season will either employ violating members, non-WGA members or no writers at all.
In a post on X, the Writers Guild said "The Drew Barrymore Show" is a "WGA covered, struck show," meaning any writing on it is considered a violation of the strike and therefore yields picketing, though a CBS spokesperson told Rolling Stone the show wouldn't include any writing work covered by the strike.
But the guild's thoughts on the matter explain why a couple dozen protesters, including some of Barrymore's show writers, moved their picket lines to Manhattan's CBS Studios sidewalk during filming Monday.
One audience member at the taping said he and another attendee were removed by the crew for wearing Writers Guild pins they were given by picketers. A statement from the show said they weren't permitted to attend due to "heightened security concerns" and that Barrymore was unaware of the incident.
Those who weren't physically taking a stand in or around the studio took their stance online. One said they sympathize with her and the rest of her crew but that allowing an exception is drawing another crack in the picket line.
I understand why Drew Barrymore is doing this. 100%. Her show employs people, and those people are suffering. I sympathize.— Avishai ✡ Is On Strike (@avishaiw) September 11, 2023
We can’t allow exceptions.
If there’s one, there’ll be more. We haven’t fought this long, suffered this much, to let the wall crack.@WGAEast https://t.co/fUem1rOrXe
Some other daytime TV shows have aired new programming during the strike, like "The View" and "Live With Kelly and Mark."
But many other talk shows have paused and are airing reruns during the strikes, like the band of late-night hosts who have recently teamed up for a podcast with proceeds going toward striking staff.
In her Instagram post announcement, Barrymore said, "I own this choice," and pointed to the sensitivity that's always surrounded her show, while hoping for "a resolve for everyone as soon as possible."
"Our show was built for sensitive times and has only functioned through what the real world is going through in real time," she said. "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."