Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) gathered outside the CBS Broadcast Center in Hell’s Kitchen on Monday to protest the resumption of taping for The Drew Barrymore Show, as the strike by TV and film writers entered its 20th week.

Picket CBS Drew Barrymore
WGA strikers picket on W57th Street on Monday outside the CBS Center where The Drew Barrymore Show was being filmed. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Despite the protests, filming went ahead on two episodes of the popular series. Barrymore managed to enter the building without being confronted by the WGA strikers as they picketed around the CBS Center that takes up a full New York city block.

Show producers dispensed for the day with their usual bright yellow DREW awning at the entrance for the show on W57th Street between 10/11th Ave. Guests entered through an anonymous facade as WGA members walked with their placards near the entrance.

Drew Barrymore Show
Producers of the Drew Barrymore Show dispensed with their usual bright yellow DREW entrance canopy on Monday. File Photo August 2021. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Earlier this year, Barrymore made headlines when she stepped down from her role as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in solidarity with the writers. In a recent Instagram post, she explained her latest decision to resume her talk show amid ongoing strikes. “I made a choice to walk away from the MTV Film and Television Awards because I was the host and it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with — studios, streamers, film and television,” Barrymore said, emphasizing that her choices are being made with a deep understanding of the issues at play.

The host stressed that her decision to restart The Drew Barrymore Show is fully compliant with both SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike rules. “I own this choice,” she declared. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind. We originally launched our show live in the midst of a global pandemic, crafted specifically for sensitive times and to be responsive to the world’s real-time challenges.”

Further explaining her motivations, Barrymore stated, “I want to be there to offer what writers contribute so effectively: a medium to unify us and help us navigate the human experience. I’m optimistic for a quick resolution for everyone affected. We’ve faced difficult times since our show’s inception, and as we embark on season four, we move forward with what I’d call ‘astute humility.’”

Dominic Turiczek won tickets to the recording, unaware of the ongoing WGA strike. After donning WGA pins, he was ejected and claimed on social media to have been verbally assaulted by the show’s crew.

A spokeswoman for The Drew Barrymore Show told Deadline: “It is our policy to welcome everyone to our show tapings. Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two audience members were not permitted to attend or were not allowed access. Drew was completely unaware of the incident and we are in the process of reaching out to the affected audience members to offer them new tickets.”

Members of the WGA who protested chanted: “Drew the right thing” and “Hey Drew, we expect better from you” as they circled the Hell’s Kitchen studios.

Picketers are expected to be back at CBS Center again today.

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