“I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it okay,” the host began, noting that her choice to resume The Drew Barrymore Show “wasn’t a PR-protected situation” and that she was taking “full responsibility” for the call. “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. It’s not who I am,” Barrymore added. “I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life, and this is one of them.”
Earlier this week, there was swift backlash to the announcement that her talk show would return despite both the WGA and SAG strikes, though Barrymore is not alone: Other daytime TV shows, including The Talk, The Jennifer Hudson Show, and Sherri, are also resuming production, as is Bill Maher’s HBO late-night series, Real Time. The WGA announced that it would picket the Monday and Tuesday tapings of Barrymore’s series, as it is “a WGA-covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers.” SAG-AFTRA released a statement clarifying that Barrymore wasn’t in violation of its strike, saying that her return to The Drew Barrymore Show “is permissible work” and that “Drew’s role as host does not violate the current strike rules.” Barrymore, who bowed out of hosting May’s MTV Movie & TV Awards due to the WGA strike’s start, was subsequently dropped as host of the National Book Awards ceremony.
Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon, and Liz Koe—the three head writers on The Drew Barrymore Show—joined the WGA’s protests on Monday and Tuesday, as reported by Rolling Stone and The Hollywood Reporter. White told the former outlet that she learned of the show’s return via an Instagram post and was “disappointed” by the move. “When any production that is covered under WGA comes back during a strike, it undermines our whole group effort to come to a fair contract with the AMPTP,” she said.
“I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize,” Barrymore continued in her Instagram video. “I don’t exactly know what to say because sometimes, when things are so tough, it’s hard to make decisions from that place.” She reiterated that it was her decision to resume the show, which reportedly forced all audience members to take off their WGA pins upon entry to the studio’s building due to safety concerns. “The pins set off the metal detectors at CBS Broadcast Center security,” said a spokesperson for The Drew Barrymore Show. “Audience members were asked to remove them and then offered them back after they cleared the metal detectors.”