Drew Barrymore has stepped down from the MTV Movie & TV Awards, saying she wants to “truly respect” industrial action by writers
Drew Barrymore is stepping down as host of this year’s MTV Movie & Music Awards, due to be held on Sunday, in solidarity with the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The actress has agreed to host the ceremony next year instead, Variety reported.
Although the MTV awards are set to go ahead without a host, Variety said that arrangements for the show are in constant flux as producers are unsure which of the presenters, nominees, and guests will be willing to appear.
Organizers have already scrapped the red carpet as well as interviews that were supposed to take place before the ceremony.
In a statement quoted by Variety, Barrymore said she had “listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike.”
The actress added that “everything we celebrate and honor about movies and television is born out of their [writers’] creation,” and revealed that she is “choosing to wait” until a solution is reached on fairly compensating writers for their craft.
Although Barrymore will not be present at the live event in Santa Monica, California on Sunday, she is likely to appear in several pre-recorded short films created for the telecast.
Unions representing writers working in Hollywood and beyond officially began a strike on Tuesday. The move comes amid a dispute with major studios such as Paramount and Universal over working conditions and the shift brought about by the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.
The WGA has complained that its members are being “devalued” and have received reduced pay despite significantly more movies and TV shows being in production than ever before thanks to streaming.
Aside from increased pay, the WGA has issued a list of demands to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Hollywood’s major studios. Among them is a request for guarantees that scripts would not be generated using Artificial Intelligence, and that writers would not be asked to edit or rewrite screenplays generated by such technology.
The current strike is the first work stoppage in the US entertainment industry in 15 years. The previous writers’ strike in 2007 lasted for 100 days and ultimately cost Hollywood an estimated $2.1 billion.
May 05, 2023 at 05:33PM