Drew Barrymore has apologized for resuming her talk show without her three unionized writers amid the ongoing writers strike.
The actress, 48, has faced growing backlash over the decision to return to screens on September 18 with filming for the fourth season of her show taking place earlier this week.
She was criticized on Monday after two audience member guests claimed they were ejected from the set of The Drew Barrymore Show because they wore pins showing solidarity with the Writers Guild Of America (WGA).
Barrymore offered an emotional apology to the striking union in a video on Friday afternoon but insisted her show will continue. ‘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.
It comes as the Hollywood studios are hopeful it could end the four-month long walkout with attempts to schedule a new round of talks with the WGA next week.
Drew Barrymore has apologized for resuming her talk show without her three unionized writers amid the ongoing writers strike
It comes as the Hollywood studios are hopeful it could end the four-month long walkout with attempts to schedule a new round of talks with the WGA next week
Barrymore offered an explanation as to why her daytime talk show was returning in the middle of the writers strike.
‘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 announced the decision to bring back her daytime talk show in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday despite previously walking away as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards just days into the strike.
‘I am also making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me,’ she said.
‘I own this choice,’ she added, claiming that the show is ‘in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.’
The WGA hit out at her decision to bring back the show during the strike.
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.’
Barrymore explained why her daytime talk show was returning in the middle of the writers strike. ‘I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,’ she said
Barrymore announced the decision to bring back her daytime talk show in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday despite previously walking away as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards just days into the strike
Cristina Kinon, co-head writer for The Drew Barrymore Show, spoke out about the issue and said Barrymore’s choice to tape without official writers would only ‘prolong’ 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.’
Kinon added that the WGA’s thousands of members are striking in solidarity with other unions currently fighting for better working conditions.
She said members are ‘standing with all of labor and all of the unions across the world, because that is how it works,’ adding that ‘Unions only work when you stick together with unions across the labor spectrum.’
Other talk shows including Real Time With Bill Maher, The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Jennifer Hudson Show, Sherri and The Talk have also announced their return without writers.
Maher has also faced huge backlash and was criticized by author Stephen King and sports commentator Keith Olbermann for the decision.
‘This is exactly how strikes are broken,’ King wrote on X.
While Olbermann said: ‘As somebody who’s known you since 1978: F*** you, Bill, you selfish and unfunny scumbag.’
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) revealed on Thursday that it was working with the WGA to get back to the negotiating table.
It said the two parties were ‘working to schedule a meeting next week’.
‘On Wednesday, September 13, the WGA reached out to the AMPTP and asked for a meeting to move negotiations forward,’ the studio alliance said.
‘We have agreed and are working to schedule a meeting next week. Every member company of the AMPTP is committed and eager to reach a fair deal, and to working together with the WGA to end the strike.’
The WGA hit out at Barrymore’s decision to bring back the show during the strike
Bill Maher announced on social media Wednesday that his HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher will return without its writing staff and has faced huge backlash
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
An email titled ‘Negotiations Update’ was sent to WGA members which read: ‘The WGA and AMPTP are in the process of scheduling a time to get back in the room.’
The WGA, which represents 11,500 screenwriters, were the first to go on strike on May 2, over an ongoing labor dispute with the AMPTP.
One of the main focus points in the labor dispute is the residuals from Streaming video, with the WGA claims that AMPTP’s share of such residuals has cut much of the writers’ average incomes compared to a decade ago.
Writers also want artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT, to be used only as a tool that can help with research or facilitate script ideas and not as a tool to replace them.
Members of the Screen Actors Guild American – Federation Of Television And Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). which represents about 160,000 media professionals and entertainers, went on strike on July 14 over its ongoing labor dispute with the AMPTP.
The union cited several issues in negotiations, including ‘economic fairness, residuals, regulating the use of artificial intelligence and alleviating the burdens of the industry-wide shift to self-taping.’