Citing writers’ strike, Drew Barrymore withdraws from live-hosting Sunday’s MTV awards

Drew Barrymore sits sideways in a shiny green outfit with arms crossed and one hand by her left cheek.
Drew Barrymore will no longer be hosting the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards live, showing solidarity during Hollywood’s contentious writers’ strike.
(Ash Bean / For The Times)

Drew Barrymore won’t be hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards this Sunday after all. But she still might be appearing in pre-taped segments during the ceremony.

Days into the current writers’ strike, the “Drew Barrymore Show” star showed solidarity with those protesting unfair compensation for Hollywood writers by withdrawing as emcee for one of the cable network’s marquee awards shows. Four days before the ceremony.

The “Wedding Singer” and “Never Been Kissed” star said Thursday that she listened to the writers and, “in order to truly respect them,” will pivot from her live-hosting duties.


At 48, Drew Barrymore has survived divorce, quitting alcohol and leaving her beloved Los Angeles. Now she’s trying to embrace herself as she forges ahead in a new direction — talk show host.

March 5, 2023

“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,” she said in a statement to Variety.

Barrymore added that she plans to host the show in 2024 instead, a sign of good faith in her decision.

“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,” she said.

Hollywood’s writers have gone on strike for the first time in 15 years amid a sea change in the way content is being distributed and creators are being compensated.

May 2, 2023

“I love the @mtvawards family and we will be back next year together,” Barrymore added Thursday on Instagram. “I hope you still watch the awards with me Sunday, as it has such wonderful moments to enjoy. I stand with the @wgaeast @wgawest”

The “Charlie’s Angels” star received laudatory comments on her post from singer Demi Lovato, TV personality Ross Mathews and writer-actor Ike Barinholtz, who told Barrymore, “you are the queen,” along with a red heart emoji.

MTV also co-signed her decision, commenting on her post with three heart emojis. Representatives for the network declined to further comment Friday when reached by The Times.


The ceremony is set to take place Sunday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. According to Variety, which first reported the Barrymore news, the MTV Movie & TV Awards will essentially be going without a host this year. The publication said that the state of the show is still evolving day-by-day and producers are pivoting to their strike contingency plans. They’re also waiting to see who among their presenters, nominees and guests are still willing and able to appear on the telecast.

However, Barrymore will likely remain part of the telecast, just not in a live capacity. The film and TV star already recorded several pre-taped short films for the show, and those are still expected to air, Variety said.

“When this all reared its head, we started to prepare for what could be,” the show’s executive producer Bruce Gillmer, the president of music, music talent, programming and events at Paramount Global, told Variety. “[Barrymore] is not surprisingly, standing in solidarity with the writers, which we have full respect for. She has our full support.”

Gillmer said that “the silver lining in all of this” is that MTV formed a partnership with the beloved host. “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,” he said.

Drew Barrymore is praised by fans for a string of emotional and empathetic interviews with stars such as Brooke Shields and Chloe Bailey.

April 13, 2023

As a result of the strike, the ceremony will no longer feature a red carpet or talent interviews before the show.

“The White Lotus” star Jennifer Coolidge is set to receive MTV’s Comedic Genius Award, and her show, along with “Stranger Things,” “The Last of Us” and “Wednesday,” leads this year’s scripted TV series nominations. “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules” lead the unscripted nominations.


After weeks of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the Writers Guild of America voted to strike Tuesday after its three-year deal with the major studios expired before they could reach a new contract addressing pay, streaming residuals and other issues. The strike has resulted in a total work stoppage for guild members and several demonstrations in Los Angeles and New York.

Late-night talk shows were among the first to be affected by the WGA strike, which is the first in 15 years. The 2007-08 strike upended Southern California’s production economy and lasted 100 days.