Drew Barrymore is going the distance to support the ongoing writers strike.
The “50 First Dates” actress announced she will be stepping down from hosting the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards in “solidarity” with the Writers Guild of America strike, which officially began May 2.
“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,” Barrymore said in a statement shared with Variety. “Everything we celebrate and honor about movies and television is born out of their creation. And until a solution is reached, I am choosing to wait but I’ll be watching from home and hope you will join me.”
Barrymore continued, “I thank MTV, who has truly been some of the best partners I have ever worked with. And I can’t wait to be a part of this next year, when I can truly celebrate everything that MTV has created, which is a show that allows fans to choose who the awards go to and is truly inclusive.”
The “Drew Barrymore Show” daytime talk show host will still appear during the awards show via pre-taped clips that will air during the live broadcast on Sunday, May 7. Paramount Global president of music, music talent, programming, and events Bruce Gillmer, who also executive produces the MTV Movie & TV Awards, confirmed that Barrymore’s pivot to not host the show was a decision that the network has “full respect” for.
“Drew, without question, she’s been incredible. It’s hard to imagine that we’ve ever had a better experience with a host,” Gillmer said. “She’s more of a partner really, she’s in it every day, just super passionate and super engaged and creative. She even bought some of her own team along for the journey. So when this all reared its head, we started to prepare for what could be. She is not surprisingly, standing in solidarity with the writers, which we have full respect for. She has our full support.”
Gillmer confirmed that the awards show will be “going hostless” in light of the ongoing guild demonstrations.
“So she’s not going to be with us live in the house for the show and we will essentially be going hostless,” he said. “The silver lining in all of this is that we really formed a partnership almost a family-like atmosphere. So we see this as a shift in direction, but also a pause for the initial plan, which we’ve all agreed and she’s accepted to continue as our host in 2024.”
The lineup of presenters and nominees may similarly shift due to the strike. Jennifer Coolidge is slated to accept the Comedic Genius award, with Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiffany Haddish, Gal Gadot, Ayo Edebiri, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lil Dicky aka Dave Burd, and the casts of “Yellowjackets,” “Joy Ride,” and “Daisy Jones and the Six” previously announced to attend.
“We’re going to be super respectful of the talents’ decisions to either be involved in pre tapes, show up or not show up, whatever they decide. We have a plan, since the award show is fan-voted, we want to honor the fans’ participation and also honor the talent that earn these awards,” Gillmer said. “So we’ll be giving the awards away. We’re working on a plan on how to do that without the traditional presentation involved, should the talent or some of the talent not show. We’ve got backups to our backups. And we’re planning on keeping as many of the signature elements of the show intact. We will have a live audience and it will still be a live event. Different, with more pre-taped packages and so forth, which are scalable, but it’ll still have that live event feel.”
“Saturday Night Live” has officially paused the rest of its season, which included hosts Coolidge, Pete Davidson, and Kieran Culkin. Late-night talk shows hosted by Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon are also sidelined amid the work stoppage strike with shared network NBC paying the staff partial wages for at least three weeks of hiatus. Two weeks are funded by NBC, with an extra week personally covered by Fallon and Meyers, respectively. Employee healthcare coverage will be extended until September.