Drew Barrymore Removes Apology Video That Addressed Criticism of Her Talk Show Resuming amid Strikes

Hours after responding to backlash over her decision to continue her talk show amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Drew Barrymore has deleted her apology.

On Friday, the actress posted a lengthy video on Instagram in which she reflected on her decision to continue filming The Drew Barrymore Showwhich she announced will return on September 10.

Within hours, the post was deleted from her page, along with the original announcement of her show’s return.

In a since-deleted teary-eyed video, Barrymore, 48, addressed the backlash she faced for her decision, saying the situation was “so complex” but her “intentions were never in a place to upset or hurt anyone.”

“I believe there is nothing I can do or say at this point to make it okay,” she said as she began a long apology. “I wanted to have a decision so that it would not be a PR, protected situation. And I would simply take full responsibility for my actions. I know there is nothing I can do to make this OK for those who are not OK with it. I fully accept that. I completely understand that.”

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The actress continued: “I’ve been through so many ups and downs in life and this is one of them. My deepest apologies [the] writers. I deeply apologize to the unions. My deepest apologies. I don’t know exactly what to say because sometimes when things are so difficult, it’s hard to make decisions from that place.”

She said she “wants to accept responsibility,” but also explained why she decided to continue with a new season of the show in the first place.

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Members of WGA-East and SAG-AFTRA protest outside “The Drew Barrymore Show.”

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty

“Why am I doing this? Well, I certainly could not have expected this kind of attention, and we will not break the rules and we will comply with them. I wanted to do this because like I said, this is bigger than me. And there are other people’s jobs at stake.”

She added that since the show was originally launched during the pandemic, she believes broadcasting during the ongoing strike would be another way to be “there for people in sensitive times.”

She concluded: “So I just want to put one foot in front of the other and make a show that’s there for people regardless of anything else that’s going on in the world because then I think we all need something that wants to be there, be very real in the very real times. So that’s my reason.”

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Barrymore’s apology video came days after two audience members claimed they were “kicked out” of the show’s first taping for expressing support for the WGA strike, sparking further backlash.

Dominic Turiczek shared ua publish on X (formerly known as Twitter) that he and another audience member were “verbally assaulted” by the show’s crew and forced to leave. They wore pins and T-shirts in support of the strike, he said.

“Clearly they do not support #WGAStrong, the writers or the fans! #DrewTheRightThing So we grabbed our t-shirts and joined in. F— that.”

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In a follow-up tweet, Turiczek admitted he “knew about the #WGA strike, just not that they were protesting Drew’s show.”

“Until we got in, we didn’t know her show had WGA writers, so we crossed the picket lines and started over,” he added. “We got the tickets at the last minute and obviously didn’t do enough research.”

'Drew Barrymore Show' cast members explain why they were kicked out as spokesperson expresses 'regret' over incident

Taylor Hill/WireImage; Michael Loccisano/Getty

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, a rep for the show expressed “regret” over the way the situation was handled.

“It is our policy to welcome everyone to the tapings of our shows,” the spokesperson said. “Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two members of the audience were not allowed to attend or were denied access. Drew was not aware of the incident and we are in the process of contacting affected audiences to offer them new tickets.”

In addition to facing backlash online for her decision to continue filming the fourth season of her series, Barrymore has also been ousted as host of the 2023 National Book Awards.

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The National Book Foundation confirmed in a statement Tuesday that its invitation to host the Nov. 15 ceremony has been “withdrawn.”

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“The National Book Award is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature and the incomparable contribution of writers to our culture,” said the Foundation in statement, published on X (formerly known as Twitter). “In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will continue production, the National Book Foundation has withdrawn its invitation to Ms. Barrymore to host the 74th National Book Awards.”

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The statement continued: “It is our commitment to ensure that the focus of the awards remains on celebrating writers and books and we are grateful to Ms Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation.”

Barrymore was chosen to host the ceremony in July, with the foundation originally citing her as someone who has “demonstrated her enduring belief that books have the power to change the lives of readers – opening doors, starting conversations and building community”.

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