Apparently, Drew Barrymore can count on her celebrity friend Jennifer Aniston to still “like” her, as the bubbly talk show host faces an onslaught of negative publicity, angry protests, a prestigious awards show rejection and accusations of being a “scab” after she decided to resume production on her eponymous TV show Monday as the Hollywood writers strike enters its fourth month.
An eagle-eyed X user noticed that Aniston was one of several celebrities who “liked” Barrymore’s incendiary Instagram post Sunday, in which the movie-star-turned-daytime TV host explained her controversial reasons for resuming filming for her show’s fourth season.
“V(ery) interesting which celebs liked Drew Barrymore’s scabbing Insta post,” British voice actor Rebecca Norfolk said on X. Her screen grab of Barrymore’s likes showed that the host initially got a thumbs up from Aniston, as well as Jennifer Garner, Kristen Bell, Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins.
“I love Drew Barrymore. I think she’s dazzling,” Norfolk said. “But … I hope she changes her mind on this one.”
Norfolk subsequently noticed that Garner and Bell apparently thought better of affirming Barrymore’s stance on resuming her show and “unliked” her post. But Anniston’s “like” remained as of Wednesday morning, as does Delevingne’s and Collins.’
People commenting on Aniston’s “like” correctly said that the “Friends” star has a difficult history of “liking” or commenting on posts by other rich and powerful celebrities who do or say controversial things.
“Jenn Aniston needs to watch her double-tapping lately,” one person said, while another suggested that Aniston probably doesn’t even read the posts before she likes them, while a third said: “Aniston seems to keep making news lately for the wrong reasons.”
Aniston, who once admitted she’s “not good” at social media, was forced to turn off her Instagram comments in June after she said that a post by Jamie Foxx was “sick,” after she and others initially deemed it to be antisemitic. Foxx subsequently apologized for the post, which invoked Jesus’ betrayal by” #fakefriends.” But he and others explained his wording in the context of Black cultural traditions, which showed why his post wasn’t meant to target Jewish people at all. Aniston soon became the target of criticism from people who said she represented “white privilege” and was looking to “get a Black man cancelled.”
A year earlier, Aniston, once one of Hollywood’s best-known #MeToo advocates, was among more than 50 celebrities who “liked” an Instagram post by Johnny Depp, in which he celebrated a jury finding that his ex-wife, Amber Heard, libeled him when she published an op-ed about being a victim of domestic violence.
Now Aniston, whose “The Morning Show” has resumed on Apple TV+, has shown support for Barrymore’s rationale for going back to work on her show — a stance which puts her at odds with a number of influential other artists and organizations. Aniston has been a guest on Barrymore’s show, while the two actors have appeared together at a number of high-profile events, including the 24th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at The Kennedy Center last March.
On Instagram, Barrymore insisted that her show would be in compliance with strike rules set by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, which also is on strike, The Hollywood Reporter said. But the WGA begged to differ, and said on Monday, “‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers. The WGA has, and will continue to, picket struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is in violation of WGA strike rules.”
Several other daytime talk shows, including CBS’ panel show, “The Talk,” and syndicated shows, “The Jennifer Hudson Show” and “Sherri,” hosted by Sherri Shepherd have confirmed plans to follow Barrymore’s lead and return to production for season premieres in coming weeks, the Hollywood Reporter also said. “The View” also has been running throughout the strike as well and normally employs a few WGA members; guild members have picketed the show, THR said.
Writers have said that shows like Barrymore’s rely on writers to pen the host’s introductions and numerous other segments. Chelsea White, one of the show’s writers, joined the picket line Monday outside the CBS studios in New York City, where the show is taped. She told Rolling Stone she was surprised and disappointed that the show had resumed.
“I think in general, this is obviously bigger than us three writers on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show,’” White said. “It is a bummer to hear that the show is going back because it sends a message that union writers are not valuable. And it goes directly against what the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, all the unions are trying to band together to stand up against the greedy studios.”
Thus far, the WGA has received support from celebrities who would otherwise use Barrymore’s show to court positive PR. Actor Matthew McConaughey, comedian Samantha Bee and comedian Leslie Jones pulled out of their appearances on “The Drew Barrymore Show” to show solidarity with the double WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Greg Iwinski, a WGA negotiating committee and Writers Guild East council member, told Rolling Stone.
More negative publicity for Barrymore came late Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Barrymore’s decision to resume her show’s production led to her being dropped as host of the upcoming National Book Awards ceremony. In a statement Tuesday, the National Book Foundation, in solidarity with the WGA, said it had rescinded Barrymore’s invitation to host the prestigious awards event.
“The National Book Awards is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture,” the statement said. “In light of the announcement that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony.”
The awards event, sometimes referred to as the Academy Awards of the publishing world, is scheduled for Nov. 15.
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