Drew Barrymore Reverses Decision to Bring Talk Show Back During Strikes: ‘I Have Listened’

The Drew Barrymore Show (Credit: CBS Media Ventures)

After facing widespread backlash from entertainment industry insiders, Drew Barrymore has reversed her decision to bring back her talk show during the Hollywood strikes.

The actress and host made the announcement Sunday morning on Instagram, saying she’s decided to delay the season 4 premiere of The Drew Barrymore Show, which had been set for Monday, Sept. 18.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” Barrymore wrote. “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.”

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The Charlie’s Angels star is also an executive producer on the show, and insisted she’s been trying to do what’s best as the strikes continue with no end in sight.

“I really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon,” she continued.

Drew Barrymore statement on Sept. 17, 2023. (Credit: Instagram)

CBS Media Ventures, which produces the daytime talk show, voiced support for Barrymore in a statement to the media.

“We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her,” a spokesperson said.

The show returned to production in New York City on Monday, Sept. 11, with Barrymore saying in a since-deleted Instagram post a day earlier, “I own this choice.”

The Writers Guild of America slammed the decision on X/Twitter.

“The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers. The Guild has, and will continue to, picket struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on The Drew Barrymore Show is in violation of WGA strike rules,” the union said.

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Once it returned to production, the show was immediately picketed by striking writers, including members of Barrymore’s writing staff.

Well-known writers and actors criticized the actress on social media, saying she was out of line.

Alyssa Milano, who’s been a guest on The Drew Barrymore Show, questioned the decision as well.

“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,” Milano said last week in an interview with the Associated Press.

Barrymore released a tearful apology video on Instagram Friday addressing the pushback, but doubled down on her decision to return to production.

“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,” she said in the since-deleted video.

“I know there’s just nothing I can do that will make this okay for those this is not okay with. 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 anyone,” she added. “I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions.”

The WGA work stoppage began on May 2, while actors represented by SAG-AFTRA started walking the picket line on July 14.

Both unions are calling for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP ), which represents the studios and streaming services, to increase residuals from streaming and set new rules limiting the use of artificial intelligence technology in production. The WGA additionally wants industry standards on the number of writers assigned to each TV show.