Drew Barrymore issued a tear-filled statement on Friday apologizing to writers and unions, then doubled down on why she thinks “The Drew Barrymore Show” needs to return amid the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood.
Barrymore began her Instagram address by saying she’s aware that there’s nothing she can say to make her decision OK, but that she wanted to own the decision and take full responsibility for her actions.
“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,” she said. “I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life. And this is one of them.”
Barrymore’s voice began to crack and her eyes filled with tears as she continued, “I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize.”
But then the daytime TV host held firm on her show’s return to production.
“I don’t exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough it’s hard to make decisions from that place. … And no I don’t have a PR machine behind my decision to go back to the show,” Barrymore said. “I didn’t want to hide behind people. So I won’t. I won’t polish this with bells and whistles and publicists and corporate rhetoric. I’ll just stand out there and accept and be responsible.”
Barrymore continued by addressing the burning question of “why” she would make such a bold move that would naturally stir up animus.
“This is bigger than me. And there are other people’s jobs on the line,” she said, noting that the program wasn’t going to break any rules.
“I weighed the scales and I thought if we could go on during a global pandemic and everything that the world experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?” she continued. “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. So that is my why.”
Fallout came swiftly for Barrymore, who has been heralded as “the millennial Oprah,” after CBS Media Ventures announced last week that the fourth season of “The Drew Barrymore Show” would premiere later this month “with a lineup of cutting-edge guests and key influencers.” No SAG-AFTRA actors — who are also on strike — are among the confirmed guests.
Members of the Writers Guild of America picketed a Monday taping of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” which the union has shamed for “planning to return without its writers.” The show’s writers all participated in the demonstration.
On Tuesday, the National Book Foundation cut ties with the daytime TV host and “rescinded Ms. Barrymore’s invitation” to host this year’s National Book Awards “in light of the announcement that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will resume production.”
Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.