Will MTV Movie & TV Awards 2023 still go ahead? Why Drew Barrymore pulled out - how to watch

Drew Barrymore has dropped out of hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards show amid the writers strike

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The MTV Movie & TV Awards show, set to take place later this week, will see last minute changes due to disruption caused by the Writers Guild of America strike.

Coming at the start of the summer blockbuster season, the annual awards show, which has taken place since 1992, recognises the audiences’ favourite films of the last year. The show will return to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, where the ceremony has been hosted six times before. 

But this year the awards show comes in the middle of a major strike by Hollywood writers, and the ripples of the industrial action will have ramifications for the ceremony as well as for TV shows and films that are currently in production.

Why has Drew Barrymore pulled out of the MTV Movie & TV Awards?

Scream actress Drew Barrymore was due to make her hosting debut for the awards this year, but announced just three days before the ceremony that she is stepping from the role.

Drew Barrymore stepped back from hosting the MTV AwardsDrew Barrymore stepped back from hosting the MTV Awards
Drew Barrymore stepped back from hosting the MTV Awards

Barrymore explained that she had listened to writers and said that to respect them, she would not host the show as a mark of solidarity with those on strike, adding that the movies and shows that the awards are there to celebrate only exist because of the writers.

She said that she would host the kudocast of the ceremony next year instead. 

Why has the WGA gone on strike?

The WGA, which represents 11,500 writers in film, TV, and entertainment, launched its first strike in 15 years on 2 May. The union is striking over several issues, but the main argument is over royalties that writers receive for syndicated re-runs of shows they have worked on. These deals have not been adjusted for the streaming age and writers feel like they are losing out.

Another concern is over protections against AI-generated content replacing or depressing the value of writers.

It is the first WGA strike since 2007, when writers stopped working for three months, affecting productions including James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, as well as shows like Heroes as well as several late night talk shows. 

Rob Lowe at a WGA picketRob Lowe at a WGA picket
Rob Lowe at a WGA picket

Will the MTV Movie & TV Awards still go ahead? 

Following Barrymore’s eleventh hour announcement, the awards show will still go ahead, however it will now be without a host. Pre-recorded segments featuring Barrymore could still air during the show.

This will be the first time in the awards’ history that it does not have a host - last year it was hosted by Vanessa Hudgens and Tayshia Adams, although a number of stars present the individual awards. 

The show may also be affected as more stars could refuse to appear - Bruce Gillmer, an executive producer on the show, told Variety that parts of the ceremony are ‘unpredictable’ as he doesn’t know which stars would be willing to appear to present and accept awards.

How can you watch the MTV Movie & TV Awards 2023?

The awards show will begin at 8pm on Sunday 7 May ET (1am on Monday 8 May BST). It will air live on MTV and be streamed on various platforms in the US.

In the UK, the awards show will stream on Paramount+, however, it will not be live and it has not yet been confirmed when it will be available on the platform. Paramount+ is £6.99 per month in the UK.