In an emotional Instagram video, Drew Barrymore responded to the ongoing backlash surrounding the return of her eponymous chat show, “The Drew Barrymore Show,” for its fourth season on September 18. Last week, CBS confirmed the show’s return, but the decision was met with criticism due to the concurrent WAG (Writers Guild of America) and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) strikes.
Barrymore initially shared a statement on Instagram, which has since been deleted, defending her choice to resume the show amidst the labor strikes. This led to widespread criticism for seemingly undermining the strikes and the unions, resulting in Barrymore losing her hosting role at the annual National Book Awards in November.
Drew Barrymore Instagram Post:
On September 16, Barrymore posted a follow-up video on Instagram, addressing the ongoing backlash and expressing her desire to take full responsibility for her decision. She acknowledged that there might be nothing she could say or do to make things right with those who were upset by her choice.
I know there’s nothing, I can do that will make this okay for those it is not okay with. I fully admit that I do understand that, she said: I just want everyone to know my intentions have never been in a place to disappoint or hurt anyone. That’s not who I am. I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my entire life, and this is one of the ups and downs.
Barrymore went on to offer a personal apology to those currently involved in the strikes, including writers and unions. She struggled for words but emphasized her commitment to accepting responsibility and stated that she didn’t have a public relations team behind her.
She explained that her decision to publicly address the situation was an attempt to be transparent and responsible. Barrymore emphasized that the show would adhere to all rules and regulations, recognizing that other people’s jobs were on the line.
The Drew Barrymore Show, first broadcast in September 2020, Barrymore concluded her emotional address by reflecting on the show’s inception and purpose, emphasizing her desire to provide comfort and entertainment during sensitive times, including the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
Since launching live in a pandemic, I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in difficult times. I believed that, if we could go on during a hard time, and everything the world has experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?” Barrymore shared.
Despite her heartfelt explanation, criticism persisted, with actress Debra Messing among those disagreeing with Barrymore’s response. Messing urged Barrymore to consider halting production and paying her employees in solidarity with the striking writers, emphasizing the significant impact on union members’ jobs and the industry’s future.
The Writers’ Guild of America also issued a statement, asserting that Drew Barrymore should not be on the air while her writers are on strike, as the show cannot operate without writing, which constitutes struck work.
Despite the ongoing backlash, Drew Barrymore remains committed to her show’s return. She insists that the decision to continue the show during the strikes is not meant to undermine the writers and unions but rather to support her dedicated team and provide entertainment during difficult times.
The situation highlights the complex dynamics within the entertainment industry, where artists and workers navigate the delicate balance between creativity and labor rights. As the show’s premiere date approaches, the controversy surrounding “The Drew Barrymore Show” continues to be a topic of debate within the industry and beyond.
Drew Barrymore’s decision to resume “The Drew Barrymore Show” amid labor strikes has sparked significant backlash. Barrymore’s emotional Instagram videos addressed the criticism, with her expressing her intent to take responsibility while acknowledging the challenging situation created by the strikes. Despite her efforts to explain her decision, many remain critical, emphasizing the importance of solidarity with the striking workers and the impact on the entertainment industry.