A day after taping the first episode of her talk show since the start of the Hollywood writers strike, the National Book Awards opted not to have Drew Barrymore emcee this year’s celebration.
A day after taping the first episode of her talk show since the start of the Hollywood writers strike, Drew Barrymore has been fired as the host of the upcoming National Book Awards gala.
The National Book Foundation, which presents the honor, said in a statement on Tuesday that “The National Book Awards is an evening devoted to celebrating the influence of literature, and the incomparable contributions made by writers to our culture.” “The National Book Foundation has revoked Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to present the 74th National Book Awards in light of the revelation that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will restart production.
The ceremony, frequently referred to as the Oscars of the publishing industry, is planned for November 15.
Due to the fact that daytime talk programs are governed by a different Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists contract that was updated and confirmed last year, Barrymore’s return to her CBS talk show won’t necessarily pose problems with the actors guild, which is also on strike. But the writers guild, which has been on strike since early May, employs at least three writers on Barrymore’s show. On Monday, those writers protested in front of the CBS Broadcast Building.
“We three WGA writers are the only ones I am certain will not return. On the picket line, one of the show’s writers, Chelsea White, stated, “And the rest, I really can’t speak for. “In the first place, I think that this issue affects far more than just ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ and its authors. We are out there supporting our union while feeling terrific and enthusiastic about it.
Members of both guilds criticized Barrymore for stepping over the picket line, and Colson Whitehead, Alexander Chee, and other authors questioned whether she should continue to serve as the National Book Awards host.
The chat show’s fourth season is set to premiere on September 18. Requests for response from a Barrymore representative were not immediately entertained. Barrymore stated in an Instagram post from the previous day that she was “making the choice of coming back for the first time in this strikes for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me.”
She continued, “I own this choice,” by saying that they will abide by the strikes by refraining from discussing or advertising struck labor.
In her post, she also mentioned writers.
I want to be there to offer what writers do so well, which is a means to unite us or assist us in making sense of the human experience, she says.
Barrymore had withdrawn from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards at the start of the writers strike in support of those who were striking (she eventually won best host at the event, which did away with the live component in favor of a clip-heavy pre-taped presentation). Ted Sarandos, CEO of Netflix, who was set to receive a Business Visionary Award at the PEN America Gala in May, backed out of the event because he didn’t want to draw attention away from “the important work that PEN America does for writers and journalists” (Netflix is one of the studios and streamers on the other side of the table from the striking workers).
Barrymore would have been the event’s most well-known host in years. The National Book Foundation has long aimed to increase the visibility of the book awards. The head of the National Book Foundation’s board of directors praised her work promoting books when she was named the host of this year’s National Book Awards.
In a statement, David Steinberger also mentioned Oprah Winfrey as the ceremony’s special guest speaker. “Throughout their careers, Drew Barrymore and Oprah Winfrey have each showed their enduring belief that books have the power to change readers’ lives — by opening doors, sparking conversations, and building community,” Steinberger said.
The foundation attempted to refocus attention on the writers on Tuesday.
The statement said, “We are appreciative to Ms. Barrymore and her team for being accommodating in this situation. Our intention is to ensure that the Awards remain focused on celebrating authors and books.