Jill Greenberg for variety
Drew Barrymore is stepping down as host of this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards, in a show of support and solidarity for striking Writers Guild members. But as a show of good faith to MTV, Barrymore has also agreed to come back and host next year’s edition of the kudocast instead.
Sunday night’s MTV Movie & TV Awards will continue, but will now be hostless. The state of the show continues to evolve day by day, as producers pivot to their strike contingency plans and wait to see who among their presenters, nominees and guests are still willing and able to. appear on television. Another nod to the evolution of the news, there will be no more red carpet or talent interviews before the show.
“I listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will avoid hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike,” Barrymore said in a statement. “Everything we celebrate and honor about movies and television was born out of their creation. And until a solution is found, I choose to wait but I will watch from home and hope that you will join me. I thank MTV, who have truly been one of the best partners I have ever worked with. And I look forward to being a part of this next year, when I can truly celebrate all that MTV created, which is a show that lets fans choose who the awards go to and is truly inclusive.
Barrymore won’t be at the live event, but she can still be seen on this Sunday’s show: as a host, she’s previously been in several pre-recorded shorts for television – and those timely pieces are still expected be broadcast.
“Drew, without a doubt, she was amazing. It’s hard to imagine we’ve ever had a better experience with a host,” said Bruce Gillmer, president of music, musical talent, programming and events at Paramount Global, and executive producer of MTV Movie & TV Awards. “She’s really more of a partner, she’s into it every day, just super passionate and super committed and creative. She even bought some of her own team for the trip. So when all of that came through, we got started to prepare us for what could happen. She is, unsurprisingly, in solidarity with the writers, whom we fully respect. She has our full support.
“So she won’t be with us live in the house for the show and we will essentially become hostless,” he added. “The silver lining in all of this is that we’ve really formed a partnership almost a family atmosphere. So we see this as a change of direction, but also a pause for the original plan, which we all agreed to and she agreed to. to continue as host in 2024.”
Because the situation is fluid, Gillmer said he is still awaiting information on presenters and nominees who may still be in attendance. That includes ‘The White Lotus’ star Jennifer Coolidge, who is set to receive the ‘Comic Genius’ award. Gillmer said the producers are also working out how the show will open – although as of now it could be a pre-tape track featuring Barrymore. After that, the show plans to find a way to explain what’s going on with the strike and why the show is a little different than originally planned.
But Gillmer said the show won’t dwell on that and still plans to “deliver for the fans.” Exclusive previews of big movies coming out. We still have a live show. We still have the reward streaks, even though it’s the elements that are very unpredictable – as we clearly don’t know which talent will feel comfortable. Many of them won’t,” he said.
“But we have a plan, since the awards are voted on by the fans, we want to honor fan participation and also honor the talent that wins these awards,” he added. “So we will give the awards. We’re working on a plan on how to do that without the traditional presentation involved, if the talent or some of the talent doesn’t show. We have backups on our backups. And we plan to keep as many iconic elements of the series intact. We will have a live audience and it will still be a live event. Different, with more pre-recorded packages and so on, which are upgradable, but it will still have that live event feel.
Gilmmer said the show will include pre-recorded acceptance speeches for the winners, but the producers are also stepping forward working with talent as they decide whether to continue attending. The initially announced list of presenters included Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dave Burd (“Lil Dicky”), Gal Gadot, Rodrigo Santoro and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Also “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” stars Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback; “Yellowjackets” stars Courtney Eaton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Liv Hewson, Samantha Hanratty, Sophie Nélisse and Sophie Thatcher; and “Joy Ride” features Ashley Park, Sabrina Wu, Sherry Cola and Stephanie Hsu.
Also originally slated to appear: Ayo Edebiri, Havana Rose Liu, Kaia Gerber and Rachel Sennott (“Bottoms”); Camila Morrone, Riley Keough, Sam Claflin and Suki Waterhouse (“Daisy Jones & The Six”); Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King (“The Little Mermaid”).
“We’re going to be very respectful of talent decisions to be involved in pre-recordings, to show up or not to show up, whatever they decide,” he said. “We have back-up plans and cover just in case, so I guess the short answer is, I’m not sure yet… There are also athletes and celebrity chefs and all sorts of other talent who aren’t not directly affected. So we’re going to go that route. We will be looking for live talent in the room to help tell the story, but not to host segments per se. We also have a very charismatic VO artist with us, so stay tuned. Everything happens in real time.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards have faced many changes in recent years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 show, slated for this spring shortly after the outbreak, was moved to the fall that year – then scrapped, replaced by a pre-recorded clip show with some awards. The show returned in 2021 and 2022, but with limitations imposed by COVID.
“We were definitely one of the first with the VMAs at the start of COVID,” Gilmmer noted. “It was just as intense, but you also had the added complexity of health. I’m not going to dodge the fact that we have a bit of PTSD. But we have the best team, and Drew and his team are part of that. But yes, we are battle tested.
Gillmer said he still believes this show will still be entertaining for fans. “We already have big talent acceptances, and then the shorts are amazing. They’re so funny and entertaining and moving, and you know, they’re there. It’s big and loud and impact like never before, so they’ll be there. Audiences always love previews of the biggest movies that are about to be released. They can only see these previews on this award show. And we’re going to give away awards they voted on for signature categories, like best kiss, villain stealing, all that stuff. Hopefully we’ve found a way to celebrate some of the biggest moments of the year and WTF moments.