Drew Barrymore addresses resuming show during writers strike amid backlash

Drew Barrymore attempted to explain on Friday why she chose to resume production of her talk show, despite receiving widespread criticism from members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as the union continues its strike. 

“I don’t exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it’s hard to make decisions from that place,” Barrymore said in a now-deleted video statement that was posted on Instagram. “My decision to go back to the show — I didn’t want to hide behind people … 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,” she added.

The Drew Barrymore Show is taped in the CBS Broadcast Center in New York and distributed under Paramount Global — one of the major media companies writers are striking against. The talk show returned to the studio this week as members of the WGA— including at least three writers employed by the show — picketed outside.  

The actress, talk show host and producer defended her decision, maintaining that her team was acting in compliance with the WGA’s strike rules. Barrymore added that the controversial move was spurred by a concern for all of those impacted by a pause to production and not a “PR machine.”

“I wanted to do this because as I said, this is bigger than me, and there are other people’s jobs on the line,” she said.

The apology was removed five hours after it was posted to social media after other celebrities, including actors Alyssa Milano and Bradley Whitford, hit back at Barrymore. 

“Drew Barrymore would like you to know that undermining union solidarity at the most crucial moment in Hollywood labor history makes her the victim,” Whitford wrote in a mocking post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. 

Barrymore has faced a sleuth of backlash since restarting her show amid the Hollywood writers strike.

On Tuesday, just one day after the show’s first episode was filmed, the National Book Foundation announced it was rescinding Barrymore’s invitation to host the National Book Awards ceremony.

The foundation, in it’s decision, stressed that the awards event “is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture.”

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