Drew Barrymore Pulls out of Hosting MTV Movie & TV Awards in Support of Writers Strike

Drew Barrymore will not host this weekend's MTV Movie & TV Awards to show support for the Writers Guild of America strike, which began on Tuesday. Barrymore did agree to host the 2024 ceremony, though. She may also appear during the broadcast through segments she taped before the strike began.

"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," the Drew Barrymore Show host said in a statement to Variety Thursday. "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. 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."

The awards show will still go on as scheduled but without a host. Producers also canceled the red carpet and talent interviews before the show. The production will also have to make changes with little preparation if presenters, guests, and nominees decline to attend. The White Lotus star Jennifer Coolidge is also set to receive the Creative Genius honorary award. Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming, and events at Paramount Global, and an executive producer of the show, told Variety they will find a way to tell viewers why the show looks so different from what was previously teased.

MTV still wants to deliver a show that excites fans, Gillmer said, through new movie previews and a live performance. "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," Gillmer explained. "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."

The show will include some pre-taped acceptance speeches, but Gillmer's team will keep in contact with stars who may decide not to attend. Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiffany Haddish, Gal Gadot, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and members of the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Yellowjackets, Joy Ride, Daisy Jones & The Six, and The Little Mermaid casts were announced as guests. No matter who shows up, Gillmer promised an entertaining show for fans, noting that athletes, celebrity chefs, and other guests are not affected by the strike.

As for Barrymore's decision to sit out, she has Gillmer's respect. "She's more of a partner really, she's in it every day, just super passionate and super engaged and creative," Gillmer told Variety. "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."

The 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards will begin Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, live at the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles. Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Nope, Scream VI, Smile, and Top Gun: Maverick were nominated for Best Movie. The Best Show nominees are Stranger Things, The Last of Us, The White Lotus, Wednesday, Wolf Pack, Yellowstone, and Yellowjackets