May 4, 2023 - Economy

Hollywood writers' strike sparks celebrity activism

Drew Barrymore.

Drew Barrymore at the 2022 Paramount Upfront in New York City on May 18, 2022. Photo: Arturo Holmes/WireImage via Getty Images

Drew Barrymore announced Thursday that she won't host this weekend's MTV Movie & TV Awards to show "solidarity" with the Writers Guild of America strike.

The big picture: The actress is the latest celebrity to take action to support the writers, who are seeking fair compensation and streaming residuals after negotiations for a labor deal with Hollywood studios broke down.

What they're saying: "I have 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," Barrymore said in a statement to news outlets Thursday.

  • Hours later, "Vanderpump Rules" star Lala Kent announced she'd no longer attend the event, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I am so honored to be nominated this year ... but I have decided to stay home in support of the many hard working writers who deserve to be compensated fairly."

Of note: Late-night talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers have pledged to pay their writing staff out of their own pockets during the strike, per multiple reports.

  • Other celebrities have stood with the picketers, including "Star Wars'" Mark Hamill, Marvel's Elizabeth Olsen and Brett Goldstein of "Ted Lasso."

Zoom out: The WGA's British and Canadian counterparts have issued statements in solidarity while reminding their members of strike rules, as did SAG-AFTRA, which represents actors.

The other side: The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers representing the major studios and production companies has claimed that its latest proposal included "generous increases in compensation" and increases in streaming residuals — and was prepared to improve that offer, Axios' Tim Baysinger reports.

  • The AMPTP reaffirmed its commitment "to reach a deal that is mutually beneficial to writers and the health and longevity of the industry, and to avoid hardship to the thousands of employees who depend upon the industry for their livelihoods."

Flashback: The WGA's last strike was in 2007-08 and lasted for 100 days.

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