Drew Barrymore Drops Out of Hosting MTV Awards Show Over Writers’ Strike
Drew Barrymore will no longer host the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday, announcing that she would step down in support of the writers’ strike in Hollywood that has seen late-night comedy shows go dark and thousands of television and movie writers take to picket lines.
Ms. Barrymore’s decision, which was announced Thursday, was the latest blow to the awards show, which has also canceled its red carpet and may see other talent withdraw, according to Variety.
“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,” Ms. Barrymore said in a statement to the publication. “Everything we celebrate and honor about movies and television is born out of their creation.”
Ms. Barrymore said on Instagram she would return to host the show next year and was still planning to watch the show on Sunday. Representatives for Ms. Barrymore and for MTV could not immediately be reached Friday morning.
Bruce Gillmer, a president at Paramount Global and an executive producer of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, told Variety that the show would go on without a host.
It’s unclear which celebrity presenters and guests are still planning to attend, including Jennifer Coolidge, who is being honored.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards has handled sudden shifts before, postponing and ultimately canceling its show in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. A special, hosted by the actress Vanessa Hudgens, aired later that year.
Thousands of screenwriters went on strike on Tuesday, after 15 years of relative labor peace in Hollywood.
Some of the most immediate effects were seen on talk shows and sketch shows. New episodes from late-night shows hosted by Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel have been suspended. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” have aired reruns while the hosts of those shows and NBC have agreed to extend staff pay for a short period, according to Deadline.
“Saturday Night Live” canceled a new episode scheduled for this weekend, and NBC said it would “air repeats until further notice.”
Writers have said that their compensation has remained the same even as television production has grown over the past decade. The unions representing the writers, the East and West branches of the Writers Guild of America, said “the companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union work force, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing.”
W.G.A. leaders said that the survival of writing as a profession was at stake during the negotiations.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of Hollywood companies, said in a statement before the strikes began this week that its offer included “generous increases in compensation for writers.”