Drew Barrymore Announces Decision to Pause Talk Show's Return Until End of Writer's Strike
Barrymore's news follows her initial plans to move forward with the season 4 premiere.
7:53 AM PDT, September 17, 2023
Drew Barrymore has made the decision to pause the return of The Drew Barrymore Show -- following the backlash surrounding her announcement to return for season four, amid the Writer's Guild of America strikes.
On Sunday, the 48-year-old host took to Instagram to share the message with her followers.
"I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over," the host of the daytime program wrote as a caption next to a picture of the same message. "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. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon."Instagram/The Drew Barrymore Show/CBS
Barrymore's announcement comes after she took to Instagram on Friday, in a since-deleted video message, to offer and emotional apology for her decision to return and explain why she felt it was best for her and her staff.
At the time, Barrymore shared that she still had plans to move forward with the premiere.
"I believe there is nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK," she said, alluding to the backlash she received for her decision to resume production. "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. I know there's just nothing I can do that will make this OK for those it is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that."
She continued, "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. 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, I deeply apologize."
In her video, the Never Been Kissed star acknowledged the questions about why she is continuing to move forward, and assured her followers that they were not breaking any rules.
"We aren't going to break rules and we are going to be in compliance," she said. "I wanted to do this because, as I said, this is bigger than me and there are other people's jobs on the line," she said. "Since launching live in a pandemic, I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in sensitive times. I weighed the scales and I thought, 'If we could go on during a global pandemic, and everything that the world has experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?'"Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
Following her video, CBS Media Ventures, which produces The Drew Barrymore Show, told ET, "The Drew Barrymore Show has been a largely unscripted talk show from the beginning. The shows we are producing this season are now completely unscripted. No one has stepped in to do the work of WGA writers. If you watch the show, it is obvious that Drew has always brought raw, unfiltered, spontaneous and open conversations to her viewers. Absolutely no struck work is being performed, and to imply otherwise is just plain wrong. We support Drew and her producing team 100 percent."
The spokesperson additionally noted that no one on staff will fill the writing positions during the strike. Until that time, the spokesperson said, Barrymore will be ad-libbing and sharing her own remarks, which is not writing under the WGA Agreement. As for why they've opted to return, the spokesperson noted that, since there are upward of 150 people employed on the show, getting the staff and crew back to work was an important consideration for resuming production.
Earlier this month, Barrymore announced that The Drew Barrymore Show would return for the fourth season, amid the ongoing Writer's Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The choice came as a shock, as Barrymore stepped down as the host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May.CBS
In her announcement, Barrymore shared in part, that she would adhere to all of the guidelines.
"This strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me," she said at the time. "I own this choice."
"We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind. We launched live in a global pandemic. Our show was built for sensitive times and has only functioned through what the real world is going through in real time. I want to be there to provide what writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us make sense of the human experience."
"I hope for a resolve for everyone as soon as possible," she concluded. "We have navigated difficult times since we first came on air. And so I take a step forward to start season 4 once again with an astute humility."
The WGA responded to Barrymore's decision in a tweet, writing, "The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers. The Guild has, and will continue to, picket struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on The Drew Barrymore Show is in violation of WGA strike rules."
After Barrymore's announcement, Bill Maher said his show, Real Time With Bill Maher, would likewise return without writers. Additionally, CBS' panel show, The Talk, and two syndicated talk shows, The Jennifer Hudson Show and Sherri, hosted by Sherri Shepherd, are reportedly returning to production for season premieres in the coming weeks.