Drew Barrymore, the scheduled host for the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards, has withdrawn from the event in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. However, the opening segment, which was recorded before the strike, still aired during the telecast. Fans of the 1999 romantic comedy Never Been Kissed were delighted to see Barrymore reprise her role as Josie Grossie in the segment, dressed in character and sporting braces and a scrunchie.
Josie Grossie’s Quest for a First Kiss
In the opening segment, Josie Grossie, played by Barrymore, is determined to finally get her first kiss. After putting on some lip gloss, she travels across the TV and film universe, beginning with a scene from Smile. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get her kiss in a scene from Nope, where she interacts with Daniel Kaluuya’s character. Josie then lands in the middle of a dance scene in the show Wednesday, where she starts a dance-off with the titular character played by Jenna Ortega. Josie then travels to Italy, where she is seen on a yacht with The White Lotus theme song playing in the background. She ends up in the middle of a scene with Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya, seeking help from the gays that are trying to murder her, and even suggests kissing them to get out of the situation. Josie then goes on another dance-off, this time with the doll M3GAN, who turns scary when she threatens the Never Been Kissed star. In a scene from Top Gun: Maverick, Josie is hit by a football before ultimately landing a kiss from the star of Cocaine Bear.
Skipper in Barbieland
Barrymore also appeared later in the show, transformed into Barbie’s kid sister Skipper. Dressed as Skipper, she is transported into Barbieland, hoping to be included in the final cut of the film.
Barrymore Stands in Solidarity with Writers’ Strike
Although the opening bit aired despite the writers’ strike, Barrymore’s withdrawal from hosting the event was a clear show of support for the WGA. In her absence, the show was hosted by a variety of presenters, including Addison Rae, Anthony Ramos, and Leslie Jones. During her acceptance speech for the Best Comedic Performance award, Jennifer Coolidge also acknowledged the writers’ strike, stating that “almost all great comedy starts with great writers”.
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