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

"I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon," Barrymore wrote in a statement, referring to the ongoing strikes by both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Drew Barrymore attends the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presentation at The Kennedy Center on March 19, 2023 in Washington, DC

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Drew Barrymore attends the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presentation at The Kennedy Center on March 19, 2023 in Washington, DC

Drew Barrymore has announced that The Drew Barrymore Show will no longer premiere until the Hollywood strikes are over — a reversal from the host's previous choice to resume production despite ongoing strikes by both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the SAG-AFTRA actors' union.

The actress, 48, said on Instagram 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 initial decision to resume the production.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” Barrymore wrote in her statement.

She continued, “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,” the mother of two concluded.

In a statement, a CBS Media Ventures spokesperson said, “We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her.”

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

"I made a choice to walk away from the MTV Film and Television Awards because I was the host and it had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with, which was studios, streamers, film, and television," she wrote.

Noting that production on the show's third season wrapped on April 20, before the WGA strike began in May, Barrymore added: "I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind."

Related: Everything to Know About the SAG Strike and How It Will Affect TV and Movies

The actress called the show "bigger than just me," and said that she wants 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."

The Writers Guild of America, East swiftly responded on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the Guild intended to picket The Drew Barrymore Show, noting that it counts as "struck" work.

“The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers,” they wrote. "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."

<p>Taylor Hill/FilmMagic</p>

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Related: See All the Clever Signs from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA Strike Picket Lines

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

In the teary-eyed video, the actress addressed the backlash she faced for her initial decision and said the situation was “so complex,” but her “intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anyone.”

“I believe there's nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,” she said in the since-deleted video. “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 that is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that.”

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

<p>Mario Tama/Getty </p>

Mario Tama/Getty

Related: Drew Barrymore Out as Host of Book Awards After Her Talk Show Resumes During Strike

She went on to say she “wanted to accept responsibility,” but also elaborated on why she decided to go ahead with The Drew Barrymore Show's new season in the first place.

“Why am I doing this? Well, I certainly couldn't have expected this kind of attention, and we aren’t going to break rules, and we will be in compliance. I wanted to do this because as I said, this is bigger than me. And there are other people's jobs on the line.”

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

“So, I want to just put one foot in front of the other and make a show that's there for people regardless of anything else that's happening in the world because that's when I think we all need something that wants to be there, being very realistic in very realistic times," she concluded the video. "So that is my why."

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The WGA has been on strike since May 2 after the Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) were unable to come to an agreement before the previous contract expired. The writers are seeking higher pay, minimum staffing requirements, residuals from streaming and regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to name a few key issues.

SAG-AFTRA, led by president Fran Drescher, joined the writers on the picket line on July 14. Actors are seeking higher pay and residuals from streaming, as well protection from the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative works. This marks the first dual strike since 1960.

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