Drew Barrymore apologizes for breaking writers’ strike to bring talkshow back
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/ @drewbarrymore/ Arturo Holmes/WireImage
Drew Barrymore has said she never meant to 'upset or hurt anyone' going ahead with her show amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
The 48-year-old has since taken to Instagram to post a video of herself apologizing to writers and unions and take 'responsibility for [her] actions'. Catch the clip here:
Barrymore defended her decision to 'come back for the first time in this strike' in a post to Instagram on 11 September.
The statement reads: "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. It was also in the first week of the strike and so I did what I thought was the appropriate thing at the time to stand in solidarity with the writers.
"And to be clear, our talk show actually wrapped on April 20th so we never had to shut down the show. However, I am also making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me.
"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. We have navigated difficult times since we first came on air. And so I take a step forward to start season four once again with an astute humility."
However, Barrymore has since apologized for her 'choice' to bring the show back on air despite it being 'a WGA-covered struck television show' meaning it would have to return 'without its writers', WGA spokesperson Jason Gordon told Vanity Fair.
In a video posted to social media today (15 September), Barrymore reflected on how she 'wanted to own a decision so it wasn't a PR-protected situation' and is now taking 'full responsibility for [her] actions'.
She said: "I know there's just nothing I can do that will make this okay for those that it's not okay with.
"I fully accept that. I fully understand that. 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."
Barrymore went on to 'deeply apologize' to writers and to unions.
She continued: "I don't exactly know what to say, because sometimes when things are so tough it's hard to make decisions from that place. So all I can say is that I wanted to accept responsibility.
"[...] My decision to go back to the show, I didn't want to hide behind people, so I won't. And I won't polish this with bells and whistles [...] I'll just stand out there and accept, and be responsible."
Reflecting on 'why' she is doing this, Barrymore noted she 'couldn't have expected this kind of attention' and stressed the show isn't 'going to break rules' and 'will be in compliance'.
She resolved: "I wanted to do this because as I said this is bigger than me and there are other people's jobs on the line.
"And since launching live in a pandemic, I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in sensitive times and I weighed the scales and thought if we could go on in a global pandemic [...] why would this sideline us?"
A spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures - the producers of the show - told UNILAD: "As The Drew Barrymore Show returns with original episodes on Monday we are very mindful and sensitive to the complex circumstances surrounding the show’s return and we will be in full compliance with all our labor agreements and any strike rules.
"Our host works under a separate agreement with SAG-AFTRA ('The Network Code') that allows Drew and other daytime hosts to continue hosting the show. While our show has been largely an unscripted talk show from the beginning, the new shows we are producing this season will be completely unscripted until the strike ends. No one on our staff will fill a writing position.
"If you watch the show, it is obvious that Drew has always brought raw, unfiltered, spontaneous, open and honest conversations to her viewers and that will continue. The show also moves forward with important consideration to our staff and crew comprised of over 150 people, as well as our loyal viewers. We fully support Drew and her entire team 100 percent."