Rosie O’Donnell warns Drew Barrymore to STOP taping her chat show while Writers’ Guild remains on strike after ET actress was branded a ‘scab’ by picketers
- Rosie O’Donnell has advised Drew Barrymore to cease recording her talk show in light of the ongoing strike by the Writers’ Guild
- Barrymore announced her intention to air fresh episodes starting on Monday, leading to criticism from various quarters
- O’Donnell has urged Barrymore to halt her show’s production and refrain from urging audiences to cross picket lines
In a post to Instagram, O’Donnell posted some words of advice from an essay written by Elizabeth Grey.
‘Stop taping the show. Stop asking audiences to cross the picket line. Then ask someone to help you craft three declarative sentences,’ the posting began.
‘They should follow along these lines: I made an error. I apologize to the WGA for disrespecting the work of professional writers. I apologize to all union members who are withstanding real hardship as I live a life of luxury,’ advised O’Donnell through the posting.
Barrymore – a daughter of a proud acting dynasty – is making new batches of her syndicated talk show despite picketers outside her studio.
The posting by O’Donnell, who had her own chat show between 1996 and 2002, led to a number of other stars to chime in.
Charmed actress and activist Alyssa Milano, whose friendship with Barrymore stretches back years simply wrote: ‘Not complicated at all.’
‘I love her very much – I grew up with her – but I’m not sure that this was the right move for the strike. I’m sure in her eyes it’s the right move for her and the show, but as far as the WGA and SAG and union strong – not a great move.’
Others also shared their dismay at Barrymore’s crossing of the picket line.
‘So disappointing in her. People are literally struggling,’ actress Karan Ashley responded.
‘Easy peasy. Don’t continue to punch me in the face after you apologized for punching me in the face,’ comedian Alec Mapa noted.
‘I own this choice,’ Barrymore wrote in an Instagram post which has since been deleted. ‘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.
‘I know there is just nothing I can do that will make this OK to those that it is not OK with. I fully accept that. I just want everyone to know my intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anymore. It’s not who I am,’ she said.
Barrymore´s decision to return to the air was met with pushback from others on social media.
‘You have the heart and mind to be more tapped into the needs of the community than this,’ wrote one viewer on Instagram.
Another was more blunt: ‘You don’t get to play a generous and relatable character when it’s financially expedient for you and then scab when your pocketbook is at risk.’
Barrymore’s stance was also met with some puzzlement since she walked away as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May, the first big awards show to air during the strike.
Back then, she wrote: ‘I have listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike.’
She has since lost another hosting gig: the National Book Awards in November. The organization rescinded her invitation ‘in light of the announcement that `The Drew Barrymore Show´ will resume production.’
The ongoing strike pits Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.
Viewers who tune into new episodes of daytime talk shows these days will find a changed landscape.
Guests aren’t always the A-listers with blockbuster TV shows or films to promote. Since the strike began, authors, musicians and comedians are filling the gaps.
Hosts like Barrymore may be caught in a lose-lose situation – contractually obligated to return to work but certain to anger colleagues when they do.
Last week she noted “This is bigger than just me.”
Bill Maher, who also announced he would return to his late night talk show, couched his reasoning as wanting to help all his staff, saying writers “are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns.”