‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ Pauses Production After Negative Response amid Hollywood Strikes

Drew Barrymore posted it The Drew Barrymore Show will not premiere again until the Hollywood strikes end — a reversal from the showrunner’s previous choice to continue production despite ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union.

The actress (48) said on Instagram on Sunday that she decided to “pause” the premiere of her talk show. The announcement comes shortly after she posted a since-deleted video in which she doubled down on her original decision to continue with the production.

“I have listened to everything and I am making the decision to pause the premiere of the series until the strike is over,” Barrymore wrote in her statement.

She continued: “I have no words to express my deepest apologies to everyone I’ve hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who work on the show and have made it what it is today. We really tried to find a way forward.”

“And I really hope for an industry-wide solution very soon,” concluded the mother of two.

Barrymore, who has hosted her own talk show since 2020, received negative feedback for returning the program during the strikes. The actress initially defended the decision in a September 10 statement on Instagram.

“I decided to walk out of the MTV Movie and TV Awards because I was the host and it was in direct conflict with what the strike was about, which is studios, streamers, film and television,” she wrote.

Noting that production on the show’s third season ended on April 20, before the WGA strike began in May, Barrymore added, “I own this choice. We agree not to discuss or promote film and television that is damaged in any way.”

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Everything you need to know about the SAG strike and how it will affect TV and movies

The actress called the series “bigger than me” and said she wanted to “be there to provide what the writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us understand the human experience.”

Writers Guild of America, East swiftly replied to X (formerly known as Twitter) that the Guild intended to raise The Drew Barrymore Showwith the note that it counts as “impact” work.

“The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, primetime series that plans to return without its writers,” they wrote. “The guild has, and will continue, to attack shows in production during the strike. Any writing about ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is a violation of WGA strike rules.”

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

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On Friday, Barrymore shared a now-deleted video on Instagram in which she apologized and defended her decision to continue performing. Within hours, the post was deleted from her account, along with the original post.

In a teary-eyed video, the actress reflected on the backlash she faced for her initial decision and said the situation was “so complex” but that 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 in the video, which has since been deleted. “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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Barrymore continued: “I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my 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.”

A sign reads 'SAG-AFTRA Supports WGA' as members of SAG-AFTRA walk a line in solidarity with striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) workers outside the Netflix offices on July 11, 2023 in Los Angeles

Mario Tama/Getty

She pulled out Drew Barrymore to host the book awards after her talk show continued during the strike

She went on to say that she “wanted to accept responsibility,” but also clarified why she decided to continue with The Drew Barrymore Shownew season in first place.

“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.”

The actress added that the show was originally launched during the pandemic and said she believed continuing production during the strikes would be another way to be “there for people in sensitive times”.

“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, very real in very real times.” she concluded the video “So that’s my reason.”

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The WGA has been on strike since May 2 after the Guild and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to reach an agreement before the previous contract expired. Screenwriters are demanding higher wages, minimum staffing requirements, streaming residuals and artificial intelligence (AI) regulation, to name a few key issues.

SAG-AFTRA, led by President Fran Drescher, joined the writers at the July 14 rally. Actors are demanding higher salaries and residuals from streaming, as well as protection from the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative works. This is the first double strike since 1960.

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