Drew Barrymore has been dropped as the host of the National Book Awards ceremony after it was announced her popular talk show would be returning amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.
The 48-year-old actress faced an intense backlash and was even branded “vile” and a “scab” after her comeback was announced. Following the criticism, the National Book Foundation issued a harsh statement as they dropped Drew as their host.
“The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture,” the organisation said in a statement. They added: “In light of the announcement that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony.”
The awards are set to take place on November 15. Drew is yet to speak out on the decision to drop her from hosting duties. The Mirror has contacted representatives for the actress for comment.
The Drew Barrymore Show will be returning, despite the Hollywood star previously stepping down as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards just days into the strikes. In a lengthy Instagram post, she explained: “I made a choice to walk away from the MTV, film and television awards because I was the host and it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television.
“It was also in the first week of the strike and so I did what I thought was the appropriate thing at the time to stand in solidarity with the writers.” She also pointed out how her talk show had finished filming in April and so had never had to stop production for the strikes.
Drew continued: “However, I am also making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me.” She said she wanted to “own” the decision to return.
The actress explained that her choice comes as she realises the show is “bigger” than her. She added: “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 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. I hope for a resolve for everyone as soon as possible. We have navigated difficult times since we first came on air. And so I take a step forward to start season 4 once again with an astute humility.”
People quickly jumped on the comments and criticised her for her decision. One person wrote: “This is incredibly disappointing and a poor showing of solidarity and care for the future of thousands of people’s livelihoods, including your staff. This is harmful to the larger cause and to the very profession we’re trying to save and protect. Please reconsider.” Another branded the announcement as “vile” before declaring they would be unfollowing the star.
However, others did speak out in defence of Drew. One fan said: “You’re a revelation and a comfort to so many. You go above and beyond to remain reliable, relatable and open-hearted. I look forward to season four. Thank you!”
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