Cristina Kinon, the co-head writer of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” has called on the show to shut down production after it resumed taping in New York City this week.
But she Kinon empathized with the fact that the show is more about just the hosting actress.
“I personally understand that everybody has to make the best decision for themselves,” Kinon said. “I know that this show has a crew of hundreds of people who need to be paid, and I understand the perspective of wanting to protect your cast, your crew, and your staff.”
Barrymore revealed her intent to return to filming without writers Tuesday for shows that will air later this month. In an Instagram post, she explained that, while the show has her name on it, it is bigger than her. She also wrote that the decision remains in compliance with WGA strike rules prohibiting the discussion or promotion of any struck TV or film productions.
Barrymore also clarified the show had never suspended production for the strike with its most recent season wrapping April 20.
Because “The Drew Barrymore Show” is covered by the WGA and therefore considered struck, the Guild has set up pickets outside of the show should it proceed with production. Any writing on “The Drew Barrymore” show would violate WGA strike rules.
“We’re standing with all of labor and all of the unions across the world, because that is how it works,” Kinon said. “Unions only work when you stick together with unions across the labor spectrum.”
Kinon also addressed a strike sticking point in which, in the WGA’s previous collective-bargaining agreement, daytime talk shows fell under the negotiating category of “Appendix A,” which also encompasses late-night talk television and variety programs. In the initial contract talks this past spring, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has offered to compensate writers of these kinds of programs with day rates similar to gig positions like driving Uber or DoorDash.
Last month, in a memo to members, the WGA said that the studios’ most recent counteroffer agreed to minimum rates for some Appendix A shows such as comedy-variety, but not for others such as game shows or daytime TV.
“I don’t see how what I do is different from writing for a scripted show, or writing feature films—which I also do,” Kinon said. “We’re all trying to make a career out of writing, and the AMPTP is trying to slowly chip away at that. And they wouldn’t have anything without writers; writers are the seed of all of creation.”