Now Bill Maher axes plans for his show to return amid writers strike - days after Drew Barrymore tearfully backed down as she faced intense backlash
- Bill Maher on Monday backtracked on his decision to resume his show and said he made the decision to do so 'when it seemed like nothing was happening'
- Maher's decision comes after similar pauses, including Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Hudson's shows
- Talk shows are covered under a separate labor contract - the so-called Network Code - from the one actors and writers are striking
Maher last week said he would bring his 'Real Time' show back into production, but has since announced a pause following the news more talks are scheduled between producers and writers this week.
The strike by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has been going on for more than four months.
'My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,' Maher said via X, formerly known as Twitter.
'Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I'm going to delay the return of 'Real Time,' for now, and hope they can finally get this done.'
Bill Maher has delayed returning to his HBO talk show during the ongoing strike by writers and actors
Maher announced he was axing his plans to return after the unions announced they will begin negotiations again on Wednesday
Maher announced last Wednesday that he would press ahead with the show as many of his staff were 'struggling mightily' without the work.
He added that while he sympathizes with the strike, the writers are 'are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns'.
Maher planned to 'honor the spirit of the strike' and produce the show without a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial.
His U-turn comes days after Drew Barrymore was forced to backtrack on her decision to continue taping new episodes of her daytime talk show amid a fierce backlash.
The host tearfully announced she'll wait until the labor issues are resolved before resuming the show.
'I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show's premiere until the strike is over,' Barrymore posted on Instagram on Sunday.
'I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today.'
Talk shows are covered under a separate labor contract from the one actors and writers are striking.
Known as the Network Code, it also covers reality TV, sports, morning news shows, soap operas and game shows.
Maher said his initial decision to bring back the show was because some of his staff were 'struggling mightily' amid the strikes
Drew Barrymore apologized for resuming her talk show without her three unionized writers amid the ongoing writers strike
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers revealed on Thursday that it was working with the WGA to get back to the negotiating table to put an end to the strikes
Barrymore´s initial decision to return to the air Monday - without her three union writers and with picketers outside her studio - was met with anger on social media.
Her show resumed taping in New York last week and was picketed by striking writers.
'We support Drew´s decision to pause the show´s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her,' said a CBS Media Ventures spokesperson.
However other daytime shows have resumed. 'The View' has returned for its 27th season on ABC, while 'Tamron Hall' and 'Live With Kelly and Mark' - neither are governed by writers guild rules - have also been producing fresh episodes.
'The Talk' also scrapped its restart, planned for Monday. 'We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date,' CBS said in a statement Sunday.
The ongoing strike pits the unions against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.
On Monday the WGA announced negotiations will resume on Wednesday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In correspondence to its 11,500 members the union said: 'You might not hear from us in the coming days while we are negotiating, but know that our focus is getting a fair deal for writers as soon as possible.
'We’ll reach out again when there is something of significance to report.'