Drew Barrymore has decided to halt production of her daytime CBS talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, amidst controversy surrounding her choice to continue filming during the writers’ and actors’ strikes.
She took to Instagram to share the news, apologising to those who felt hurt by her decision and acknowledging her team’s hard work.
Barrymore wrote: “I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. 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.”
She added, “We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”
Last week, Barrymore faced backlash when she announced that her Emmy-winning show would resume production without its three Writers Guild of America writers, who have been on strike since May.
The decision drew criticism from various industry organizations, including the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, as well as the National Book Foundation, who rescinded their invitation for Barrymore to host their annual awards event.
Amidst picketers outside the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, the show continued filming last week. Some audience members wearing WGA-branded pins were reportedly escorted out. However, the show’s spokesperson clarified that Barrymore was unaware of the incident and that the affected audience members would be offered new tickets.
Initially, Barrymore defended her choice in a now-removed video, emphasizing that many people’s jobs were at stake. She believed that if the show could go on during a global pandemic, it could continue despite the strikes.
She insisted that the show’s return complied with the strike rules, focusing on not discussing or promoting struck film and television. However, as a WGA-covered show, resuming production without the writers violated the WGA strike rules.