In an Instagram post on Sunday, Barrymore expressed her decision, saying, “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.”
She went on to say, “We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”
The show had been scheduled to return on Monday.
Barrymore faced criticism after announcing on September 10 that her show would return amidst an ongoing writers’ strike. The Writers Guild of America, the union representing many writers in the entertainment industry, initiated the strike in May, advocating for improved compensation, benefits, and other issues.
Last week, Barrymore posted a lengthy statement on Instagram, acknowledging that her decision to return was about more than just her show. She emphasized her commitment to not discussing or promoting any struck film or television content.
Barrymore also explained that she had stepped down as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in support of the writers’ strike, but the circumstances were different as it pertained to studios, streamers, and film and television. Her initial post announcing her return has been deleted.
In a now-deleted video on Instagram, Barrymore addressed her fans, expressing, “I know there is just nothing I can do that will make this OK to those that it is not OK with. I fully accept that. I just want everyone to know my intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anyone. It’s not who I am.”
She added, “I wanted to own a decision so that it wasn’t a PR, protected situation. I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life, and this is one of them. I deeply apologize to (the writers). I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize. I don’t exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it’s hard to make decisions from that place.”
Barrymore also discussed her reasons for returning, emphasizing the importance of not jeopardizing the jobs of other individuals. She stated, “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. … There are other people’s jobs on the line.”
“The Drew Barrymore Show” had concluded filming for Season 3 in April for a summer hiatus. Upon its return for Season 4, a spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures clarified that the show would “not be performing any writing work covered by the WGA strike.”
It’s important to note that as long as talk show hosts and guests do not discuss or promote content covered by television, theatrical, or streaming contracts, they are technically not violating the strike. This is because talk shows operate under a separate contract from the one covering actors and writers who are on strike. This contract also encompasses reality TV, sports, morning news shows, soap operas, and game shows.
WGA members picketed outside Barrymore’s studio on Monday and Tuesday. Her talk show is filmed at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York.
Barrymore’s decision led to backlash from WGA members and resulted in her losing a hosting opportunity. The National Book Awards organization rescinded its invitation for her to host “in light of the announcement that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will resume production.”