Drew Barrymore has been removed as the host of the 2023 National Book Awards following her decision to resume filming her talk show, "The Drew Barrymore Show," amidst the ongoing Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike. The National Book Foundation, which organizes the awards, released an official statement on X (formerly Twitter) condemning Barrymore's actions and stating that her hosting invitation had been rescinded. The foundation emphasized that the National Book Awards are meant to celebrate literature and writers, and they wanted to ensure that the focus remained on these aspects. They thanked Barrymore and her team for their understanding in the situation. The Post reached out to Barrymore for comment, but there has been no response yet.
Barrymore's return to television has not been without controversy. Two audience members claimed that they were kicked out of a taping of her talk show after wearing WGA pins. Dominic Turiczek took to X to express his disappointment, stating that he and his friend were verbally assaulted by the show's crew before being asked to leave. Turiczek and his friend joined the pickets outside the CBS building after the incident. A representative for the show claimed that Barrymore was unaware of the incident and that they were reaching out to the affected audience members to offer them new tickets.
Barrymore has faced criticism for her decision to bring back her talk show amidst the ongoing WGA strike. She had previously stepped down as the host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in solidarity with the striking Hollywood writers. However, she defended her choice to resume filming in an Instagram post, stating that she wanted to provide what writers do best, which is bringing people together and making sense of the human experience. Barrymore clarified that her show would not be discussing or promoting any struck film or television and that it had wrapped for the summer before the strikes began. The Writers Guild of America has pushed back against the show's return, stating that any writing on "The Drew Barrymore Show" is in violation of WGA strike rules.
The decision to drop Barrymore as the host of the National Book Awards reflects the backlash she received for her choice to continue filming her talk show. The National Book Foundation has a history of inviting prominent cultural figures and celebrities to host the awards to broaden its profile. Barrymore was chosen to host this year's ceremony due to her own love of books and her belief in their power to change lives. However, her decision to resume filming amidst the strike created a dilemma for the foundation, leading to the rescission of her invitation. The foundation now faces the challenge of finding a new high-profile host for the event, which is scheduled to take place on November 15th at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan.
In her memoir, "Wildflower," Barrymore had credited books with helping her find herself after a tumultuous childhood and life in the public eye. The National Book Foundation praised her commitment to literature and her belief in its ability to impact readers' lives. However, her actions amidst the WGA strike undermined her position as the host of the prestigious literary awards.
Overall, Drew Barrymore's decision to resume filming her talk show amidst the WGA strike has led to her removal as the host of the National Book Awards. The National Book Foundation has expressed its commitment to celebrating writers and books and felt that Barrymore's actions were not in line with this mission. The foundation now faces the task of finding a new host for the awards ceremony. Meanwhile, Barrymore has faced criticism and pickets outside her talk show's studio from unionized writers and actors who are supporting the strike. The WGA has stated that any writing on "The Drew Barrymore Show" is in violation of strike rules.