Drew Barrymore dropped as host of National Book Awards after strike backlash

Drew Barrymore has been fired as host of the National Book Awards, the awards’ foundation said Tuesday, after the actress came under fire for deciding to bring back her daytime talk show despite a television writers’ strike.

The National Book Foundation, which presents the awards each year, said in a statement that the decision was to “ensure that the focus of the awards continues to be on celebrating writers and books.”

“The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature and the unparalleled contribution of writers to our culture,” the statement said. “In light of the announcement that ‘The True Barrymore Show’ will resume production, the National Book Foundation has canceled Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards.”

On Monday, union writers and striking actors from the Writers Guild of America picketed outside CBS studios in New York City, where “The True Barrymore Show” has resumed filming for the first time since April — without the show’s three union writers. .

The network said the show would return on Sept. 18 without written content “shut down by the WGA strike,” similar to the approach taken by “The View,” which began airing episodes from its new season this month. Union Writers.

Barrymore, who stepped down as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May in favor of striking Hollywood writers, was greeted by waves of critical backlash online after the decision to return to the air. She supported the show’s arrival on Instagram, saying, “I want to be there to deliver what writers do best, which is a way to bring us together or help us understand the human experience.”

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Barrymore’s critics include many high-profile authors and 2016 National Book Award-winning author Colson Whitehead; He gestured For the possible problem the foundation will face in keeping the actress as host after her decision.

Reps for Barrymore and her show did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The trust’s statement concluded: “We are grateful to Mrs. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation.”

One of America’s most prestigious literary awards, the National Book Awards frequently honors major cultural figures and celebrities to broaden its profile and highlight the widespread cultural impact of books. Recent presenters have included author and television host Padma Lakshmi, author and comedian Phoebe Robinson, and actors such as Lever Burton, Nick Offerman and Cynthia Nixon.

When the National Book Foundation announced that Barrymore would present the awards this summer, they praised Barrymore for her “enduring belief that books have the power to change the lives of readers.” In her 2015 memoir, “Wildflower,” Barrymore recounted how she tore up the works of Jane Austen, Tolstoy and Joan Titian as she regained her sense of self after her tumultuous childhood and sought attention.

This year’s gala is set to take place on November 15 at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan, creating a tight deadline that will leave the foundation scrambling to find another high-profile patron.

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