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When is The Drew Barrymore show returning after all head writers quit? What's really going on

Drew Barrymore has been in hot water ever since she decided to bring her show back without writers before the WGA strike ended

Drew Barrymore attends the Paramount Upfront 2022 after party in New York City on May 18, 2022
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
5 October 2023
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Drew Barrymore is continuing to face backlash for her decision some weeks ago to kick off the fourth season of her eponymous show without writers, before the Writers Guild of America strike ended.

Though the strike has since come to an end after 148 days, and writers rooms across Hollywood are reopening, the actress-turned-talk-show-host is still seeing repercussions from her controversial decision, just a week before her show is slated to start again.

On September 10, Drew announced on her Instagram that her show would be returning without writers, a decision she walked back on a week later after continued strikes at the CBS studios in NYC, and a since-deleted tearful apology video, where she said in part: "I wanted to own a decision so it wasn't a PR-protected situation, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I know there is nothing I can do to make this okay for those that it is not okay with, I fully accept that, I fully understand that."

WATCH: Drew Barrymore breaks down in tears as she issues 'deep apology'

The WGA strike ended just a week after her and her show's controversy, and though The Drew Barrymore Show has officially landed on an October 16 return date, it seems its writers are still disappointed with the host's decisions.

Why aren't the head writers coming back to The Drew Barrymore Show?

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the show's three WGA writers, Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon and Liz Koe, have all declined the offer to return to their roles.

The outlet reports that just a week before the fourth season is slated to premiere, the show is conducting ongoing interviews to replace its main writers.

Members of the WGA-EAST and SAG-AFTRA picket outside of The Drew Barrymore Show as audience members arrive ahead of the show at CBS Broadcast Center on September 12, 2023 in New York City© Getty
Much of the show's crew joined the picket lines

The three women, who have all shared the role of co-head writer since its first season, which premiered in September 2020, were among the picketers outside CBS in September when Drew decided to kick off production on September 11 in the midst of the strike.

MORE: Jennifer Hudson and The Talk hit pause on return after Drew Barrymore postponed shows

At the time, Chelsea told THR: "It is a bummer to hear that the show is going back because it sends a message that union writers are not valuable," with her colleague Cristina adding: "I understand that everybody has to do what they feel is best for them. For me and the WGA writers on the show, it's important for us to stick with our union. We deserve a fair contract, so we are here today outside."

Why was Drew Barrymore criticized in the first place? 

Though at the time of the strikes outside the show's studios, the WGA considered the show "struck," and Drew's decision to return was heavily criticized by both union members and actors, her decision to return without writers did not violate SAG-AFTRA rules.

Drew Barrymore enters her studio for a taping of her show at the CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan, New York on February 22, 2022.© Getty
The Drew Barrymore Show's fourth season is slated to premiere October 16

THR quoted a statement from a SAG-AFTRA rep at the time, which read: "The Drew Barrymore Show is produced under the Network Television Code, which is a separate contract and is not struck. It is permissible work and Drew's role as host does not violate the current strike rules."

MORE: Drew Barrymore gives insight into strict rule with daughters in rare picture of family life

What did Drew Barrymore say about the controversy? 

Drew has since deleted both her statement on Instagram announcing the return and her apology video; the last post on her socials is a statement announcing the decision to pause the show, which came a week before a tentative deal between WGA and AMPTP was reached.

View post on Instagram

It read: "I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today.

"We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon."

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