WGAW President Meredith Stiehm says there is a distinction in the reaction and anger over the return of talk show hosts like Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Hudson and Bill Maher, and that is that only one of them is a member of the Writers Guild.
During a short interview on Thursday for CNNs Starring Jake TapperStiehm addressed the criticism several Hollywood hosts have faced after announcing plans to resume production of WGA-covered shows nearly 140 days after the ongoing strike.
For the WGA leader, the reactions and accusations of scabies are different for the likes of Maher and SAG-AFTRA member Barrymore, who made another equally criticized statement on Friday about her decision to resume airing her self-titled daytime talk show despite the AMPTP. and WGA do not yet have a new contract.
“There is a distinction between Bill Maher and the others because he is a member of the Writers Guild. The others, I believe, are SAG members and may have waivers to do the shows. I’m not sure. But he’s a member of the Writers Guild and he’s going back to work, so yeah, a lot of people say this is scabies,” she said. “There’s definitely some anger that he’s doing that.”
Stiehm followed up with a point in response to certain hosts’ decisions to resume amid an ongoing work stoppage after hosts like Maher and Barrymore today again signaled their desire to get their lower-paid crew members back to work, despite other shows and their employees having to remain paused.
“There are other show hosts who take care of their shows by paying for them themselves,” she told Tapper. “We are all concerned about our crews and the ripple effect the work stoppage has caused.”
On Wednesday, Maher announced via X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) that his show Real time would return “without writers or writing.”
“It’s been five months and it’s time to get people back to work. The writers have important issues that I sympathize with and I hope they are addressed satisfactorily, but they are not the only people with issues, problems and concerns,” he wrote. “I’m not willing to lose an entire year and see so many people suffer so much at the bottom line.”
Maher added that when the show returns, he plans to “honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue” and other scripted elements such as the “New Rules” segment.
Over the past week, Maher, Barrymore, The Jennifer Hudson Show And The conversationall WGA-covered shows, have announced they will restart production despite the work stoppage that began on May 2. The Drew Barrymore Show And The conversation have already been met with pickets, with pickets in front The Jennifer Hudson Show expected.
In an earlier statement in response to Maher’s announcement, the WGA said the following Real time “The host’s decision to return to air while his guild is on strike is disappointing.
“If he goes ahead with his plan, he must respect more than ‘the spirit of the strike,’” the report continued. “As a WGA member, Bill Maher is required to follow strike rules and not provide writing services. It’s hard to imagine how Real time can continue without a violation of the WGA strike rules. WGA will promote this show.