Drew Barrymore is responding to the backlash over her talk show returning amid the writers’ strike.
Since the announcement, the actress received criticism for proceeding with her daytime program as the Writers Guild of America continues its months-long strike.
On Friday, she responded to that criticism with an emotional four-minute video on Instagram apologizing to those who have been hurt by her decision to bring back the show.
“I believe there is nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it ok. 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,” Drew said.
The 48-year-old actress then went on to tearfully acknowledge that there is “nothing I can do that will make this okay for those it is not okay with” and explained there are several factors that went into making the decision for her show’s return.
“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,” she said.
Drew then went on to directly apologize to those who are negatively impacted by the decision.
“I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions,” she said. “I don’t exactly know what to say, because sometimes when decisions are so tough it’s hard to make decisions from that place. All I can say is that I wanted to accept responsibility, and no I don’t have a PR machine behind this.. I won’t polish this with bells and whistles and publicist and corporate redirect. I’ll just stand out there and accept and be responsible.”
Biggest Movies & TV Shows Affected By SAG-AFTRA & WGA StrikeView Gallery
The “Santa Clarita Diet” star ended her video by directly addressing why she ultimately decided to resume production amid the ongoing strikes.
“Why am I doing this?” she said. “Well, I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention. 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 and since launching live in a pandemic, I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in sensitive times.”
The actress admitted she “weighed the scales” and ultimately thought “if we can go on during a global pandemic and everything that the world has experienced in 2020, why would this sideline us?”
Adding, “So, I want to just put one foot in front of the other and make a show that’s there for people regardless of everything that is happening in the world because that’s when I think we all need something.”
Drew Barrymore Through The YearsView Gallery
After Drew announced earlier this week that her show will return, “The Talk” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show” also followed suit.
The “Blended” star is not in violation of the current SAG-AFTRA strike rules according to Variety, because her work as a host is covered by a different contract than the one the actors are disputing.
A spokesperson for CBS released a statement to Access Hollywood explaining Drew’s contract with the network and stating it will remain in compliance with strike rules.
“As The Drew Barrymore Show returns with original episodes on Monday we are very mindful and sensitive to the complex circumstances surrounding the show’s return and we will be in full compliance with all our labor agreements and any strike rules,” a Spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures which produces “The Drew Barrymore Show” said in a statement. “Our host works under a separate agreement with SAG-AFTRA that allows Drew and other daytime hosts to continue hosting the show.”
The statement then clarifies how the show will move on in the midst of the strike.
“While our show has been largely an unscripted talk show from the beginning, the new shows we are producing this season will be completely unscripted until the strike ends,” the spokesperson added. “No one on our staff will fill a writing position. If you watch the show, it is obvious that Drew has always brought raw, unfiltered, spontaneous, open and honest conversations to her viewers and that will continue. The show also moves forward with important consideration to our staff and crew comprised of over 150 people, as well as our loyal viewers. We fully support Drew and her entire team 100%.”
WGA East previously released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to the news that “The Drew Barrymore Show” would tape new episodes before the WGA contract dispute is resolved.
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.
— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 10, 2023
“The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers,” it wrote. “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.”
Other talk shows that have returned during the strike are “The View,” “Live! With Kelly and Mark,” and “Tamron Hall.”