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Drew Barrymore dropped as National Book Awards host after bringing show back during strikes

Drew Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards ceremony has been rescinded in light of herdecision to return to her daytime talk show amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the National Book Foundation announced Tuesday.

“The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture,” the foundation wrote in a statement. “Our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the Awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation.”

Barrymore had previously backed out of hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards in support of the Writers Guild of America’sstrike. But earlier this week she announced her show would be returning, drawing anger from members of both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.

Barrymore insisted that her talk show, set to return for its fourth season on Sept. 18, will abide by the rules of the strike. “I own this choice,” she wrote on Instagram Sunday. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”

Since her announcement, members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have picketed outside the talk show’s studio at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.

“The Drew Barrymore Show is a WGA-covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers,” WGAtweeted.“The Guild has and will continue to, picket-struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ violates WGA strike rules.”

The National Book Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Nov. 15 in New York City. The awards’ longlists will be announced Wednesday and finalists will be unveiled on Oct. 3.

The foundation has since 1950 honored books in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people’s literature. Last year’s winners included Imani Perry for her nonfiction book “South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation” and John Keene for “Punks: New & Selected Poems.”

CBS, Paramount+ and CBS News and Stations are part of Paramount Global, one of the companies affected by the strike. Some CBS News staff are WGA and SAG-AFTRA members but work under different contracts than the writers and actors who are on strike.

—Gina Martinez contributed reporting.

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