The National Book Awards has rescinded its invitation to Drew Barrymore to host the 74th National Book Awards. The news follows an announcement earlier this week that Barrymore's daytime talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, would begin filming and airing its fourth season this month in spite of the ongoing Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
"The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture. In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms.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 National Book Foundation, which hosts the National Book Awards ceremony, said in a statement. "Our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the Awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation."
Barrymore's decision to resume filming has resulted in mass criticism from the writers' and actors' unions, including picketing of the show outside CBS Studios in New York this week. According to the Hollywood Reporter, audience members who showed support for the unions while attending filming were asked to leave the premises. A CBS Studios representative told the Reporter that the show "will not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike." Nonetheless, the AP noted that, unlike most daytime talk shows, The Drew Barrymore Show, which initially went dark at the start of the writers' strike, employs "at least three writers who are members of the writers guild." Those writers, the AP added, "were picketing outside the CBS Broadcast Building on Monday."
A new host for the NBA ceremony, set for November 15, has not yet been named, but a representative for the foundation said that an update on the hosting situation would be announced soon.