Drew Barrymore Drops Out of Hosting MTV Movie & TV Awards In Support of Writers Strike05/06/2023
The awards show — which will take place on May 7 — will be hostless this year, and the red carpet has been scrapped.
Just days before she was set to host the MTV Movie & TV Awards, Drew Barrymore has pulled out of hosting the live show “in solidarity” with the Writers Guild of America’s strike.
In a statement to Variety, the actress and daytime talk show host opened up about her decision to drop out of Sunday’s awards show, and why it’s important to her support the writer’s strike.
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“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 shared. “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. I thank MTV, who has truly been some of the best partners I have ever worked with.”
Barrymore also revealed that she will host the show in 2024. “I can’t wait to be a part of this next year, when I can truly celebrate everything that MTV has created,” she said, “which is a show that allows fans to choose who the awards go to and is truly inclusive.”
Variety noted that Barrymore will possibly still be featured in the show as she has already filmed pre-taped segments. However, in her absence, the telecast will be hostless.
Bruce Gillmer — who is the president of music, music talent, programming and events at Paramount Global, and an executive producer of the MTV Movie & TV Awards — applauded Barrymore’s decision, noting that she has their “full support.”
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“Drew, without question, she’s been incredible. It’s hard to imagine that we’ve ever had a better experience with a host,” he told Variety. “She’s more of a partner really, she’s in it every day, just super passionate and super engaged and creative. She even bought some of her own team along for the journey. So when this all reared its head, we started to prepare for what could be. She is not surprisingly, standing in solidarity with the writers, which we have full respect for. She has our full support.”
“So she’s not going to be with us live in the house for the show and we will essentially be going hostless,” Gillmer shared. “The silver lining in all of this is that we really formed a partnership almost a family-like atmosphere. 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.”
Meanwhile, Variety also reported that the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards has also been scrapped.
Amid the WGA strike and following Barrymore’s departure, Gilllmer shared that it’s now unclear if other presenters and nominees will also bow out.
Some of the stars who were set to present included Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Gal Gadot. In addition, Jennifer Coolidge was to be honored with the “Comedic Genius” award. Gillmer did note, however, that some of the show’s winners have already taped their acceptance speeches.
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“We’re going to be super respectful of the talents’ decisions to either be involved in pre tapes, show up or not show up, whatever they decide,” he told Variety. “We’ve got backup plans and coverage just in case, so I guess the short answer is, I’m not sure yet… There’s also athletes and celebrity chefs and all kinds of other talent that are not squarely affected. So we’ll be going down that road. We will be looking for some live talent in the room to help tell the story, but not host segments per se. We also have a very charismatic VO artist with us, so stay tuned. It’s all unfolding in real time.”
Although there is so much up in the air, and the show is being rearranged, Gillmer said the telecast will address the writers strike. However, he noted that it won’t focus on it, and will be all about “delivering for the fans.”
“The exclusive sneak peeks of the big films that are to be released. We still have a live performance,” he said. “We still have the award sequences, although those are the elements that are very unpredictable — because clearly we don’t know which talent will feel comfortable. A lot of them won’t.
“But we have a plan, since the award show is fan-voted, we want to honor the fans’ participation and also honor the talent that earn these awards,” Gillmer continued. “So we’ll be giving the awards away. We’re working on a plan on how to do that without the traditional presentation involved, should the talent or some of the talent not show. We’ve got backups to our backups. And we’re planning on keeping as many of the signature elements of the show intact. We will have a live audience and it will still be a live event. Different, with more pre-taped packages and so forth, which are scalable, but it’ll still have that live event feel.”
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