Drew Barrymore PAUSES premiere of her show after issuing teary-eyed apology for resuming talk show during writers strike
- The 48-year-old was forced to issue a groveling apology for continuing her talk show 'The Drew Barrymore Show' while her unionized writers were on strike
- Barrymore was planning to return to screens on September 18, with filming for the fourth season of her show taking place earlier this week
Drew Barrymore has sensationally paused the premiere of her talk show until after the Hollywood writers strike ends after facing intense criticism for her actions.
The 48-year-old actress issued a groveling on-camera apology for continuing her CBS talk show 'The Drew Barrymore Show' while her three unionized writers were on strike - but she still refused to halt production.
Barrymore was planning for her show to return to screens on September 18, despite picketers outside her studio. She was then called out for her actions and lack of solidarity with the Writers Guild Of America (WGA).
Announcing that she was going back on her decision after the backlash, she wrote on Instagram on Sunday: 'I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show's premiere until the strike is over.
'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.
Drew Barrymore apologized for resuming her talk show without her three unionized writers amid the ongoing writers strike
'We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry soon.'
Screenwriters in Hollywood have been striking since May 2, which has so far been the largest disruption to the industry since the Covid pandemic.
The Instagram walk-back comes after she said in a video on Friday: 'I wanted to own a decision, so that it wasn’t a PR-protected situation, and I would just take full responsibility for my actions.'
'I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,' she said through tears.
'I fully accept that. I fully understand that. There are so many reasons why this is so complex, and I just want everyone to know my intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anymore.
'It’s not who I am. I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life, and this is one of them. I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions.'
She added: 'There’s a huge question of the why — why am I doing this?
'Well, I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention, and we aren’t going to break rules and we will be in compliance. I wanted to do this, because as I said, this is bigger than me and there are other people’s jobs on the line.'
Barrymore's show operates with union writers, therefore non-WGA members would have been hired to write the new episodes' scripts, which is considered crossing the picket line.
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
Drew, on her knees, talking to trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney on The Drew Barrymore Show
Rosie O'Donnell was one of the people who urged Drew Barrymore to stop taping her chat show after the ET star revealed she'd begin airing fresh episodes.
In a post to Instagram, O'Donnell posted some words of advice from an essay written by Elizabeth Grey.
'Stop taping the show. Stop asking audiences to cross the picket line. Then ask someone to help you craft three declarative sentences,' the posting began.
'They should follow along these lines: I made an error. I apologize to the WGA for disrespecting the work of professional writers. I apologize to all union members who are withstanding real hardship as I live a life of luxury,' advised O'Donnell through the posting.
The posting by O'Donnell, who had her own chat show between 1996 and 2002, led to a number of other stars to chime in.
Charmed actress and activist Alyssa Milano, whose friendship with Barrymore stretches back years simply wrote: 'Not complicated at all.'
'I love her very much - I grew up with her - but I'm not sure that this was the right move for the strike. I'm sure in her eyes it's the right move for her and the show, but as far as the WGA and SAG and union strong - not a great move.'
The WGA hit out at Barrymore's decision to bring back the show during the strike
Others also shared their dismay at Barrymore's crossing of the picket line.
'So disappointing in her. People are literally struggling,' actress Karan Ashley responded.
'Easy peasy. Don't continue to punch me in the face after you apologized for punching me in the face,' comedian Alec Mapa noted.
The WGA hit out at her decision to bring back the show during the strike, saying: 'Drew Barrymore should not be on the air while her writers are on strike fighting for a fair deal.
'In reality, shows like this cannot operate without writing, and that is struck work.'
A spokesperson for the union maintained The Drew Barrymore Show is a struck show, and as a result union members picketed outside of her studios on Monday and Tuesday in New York City.
'It has stayed off the air since the strike began on May 2nd but has now (unfortunately) decided to return without its writers,' the spokesperson said in the statement.
'The Guild has, and will continue to, picket any struck show that continues production for the duration of the strike.'
Actors who appear as guests when The Drew Barrymore returns for its fourth season will have to abide by the Screen Actors Guild American - Federation Of Television And Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike rules. This includes not discussing or promoting any struck work.
Cristina Kinon, one of the co-head writers for The Drew Barrymore Show who is on strike, spoke out about the issue.
She was diplomatic about the situation but argued that Barrymore could have done more to help television industry workers impacted by the strikes than simply restarting the show, and Kinon said returning to the air would only 'prolong the strike.'
'I personally understand that everybody has to make the best decision for themselves,' Kinon said carefully.
'I know that this show has a crew of hundreds of people who need to be paid, and I understand the perspective of wanting to protect your cast, your crew, and your staff.'