Drew Barrymore has been facing criticism for resuming production on her daytime talk show during the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes — and now, some of that criticism is coming from a key member of her staff.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, The Drew Barrymore Show co-head writer Cristina Kinon expressed disappointment with the host's decision to return to work without staffers who are Writers Guild of America members. Kinon said she was surprised by Barrymore's announcement on Sunday that her show would kick off its fourth season on Sept. 18.
"It is frustrating, because it will prolong the strike, and we just want it to end," Kinon said, especially since "Now, there's word that maybe some other shows are coming back," referring to other daytime talk shows like The Talk, The Jennifer Hudson Show, and Sherri announcing new seasons this month.
CBS Drew Barrymore
The frustration comes because Barrymore's lack of solidarity is in direct conflict with the otherwise united front of WGA members striking against Hollywood's studios and streamers.
"We're standing with all of labor and all of the unions across the world, because that is how it works," Kinon said. "Unions only work when you stick together with unions across the labor spectrum."
Barrymore had also previously shown support for the strike by dropping out of hosting the MTV Movie Awards in May.
"We were really proud of that decision," Kinon said, which makes the talk show's return all the more disappointing for her colleagues in the WGA.
Kinon said that Barrymore's return makes a degree of sense when considering the show's other staffers.
"I personally understand that everybody has to make the best decision for themselves," she said. "I know that this show has a crew of hundreds of people who need to be paid, and I understand the perspective of wanting to protect your cast, your crew, and your staff."
Despite Barrymore's insistence that the show will uphold the strike because it is "in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind," Kinon sees the situation differently because some of the writing on the show itself is performed by WGA members — and there isn't much of a difference between writing for daytime talk shows and writing for other types of entertainment.
"I don't see how what I do is different from writing for a scripted show, or writing feature films — which I also do," Kinon said. "We're all trying to make a career out of writing, and the AMPTP is trying to slowly chip away at that. And they wouldn't have anything without writers; writers are the seed of all of creation."
Ultimately, Kinon said that she "would love to see the show stand in solidarity with us, and it's not too late."
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