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‘I have listened to everyone’: Drew Barrymore halts talk show after backlash, will return when strike ends

In wake of backlash, Barrymore will pause ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ in solidarity with Hollywood strikes

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Drew Barrymore attends the Time100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.

Drew Barrymore attends the Time100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2023, in New York.

Evan Agostini, Invision via Associated Press

Drew Barrymore found herself in hot water when she announced last week she would resume production on her daytime talk show, “The Drew Barrymore Show” amid ongoing Hollywood strikes.

After facing an onslaught of criticism, the actor and talk show host has decided to keep her popular talk show on pause until the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are resolved, per Variety.

On Sunday night, Barrymore released an apology through Instagram revealing that after much thought, she would put “The Drew Barrymore Show” on hold. The show was previously scheduled to resume filming on Monday, Sept. 18.

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

“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.”

CBS Media Ventures, the network which produces “The Drew Barrymore Show,” voiced support for Barrymore’s decision to pause the show’s premiere.

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

Barrymore’s controversial decision to resume production attracted criticism from members of both the Writers Guild of America and the union that represents actors, SAG-AFTRA, dozens of which picketed outside CBS Broadcast Center last week, per The New York Times.

“Drew Barrymore should not be on the air while her writers are on strike fighting a fair deal,” a guild spokesperson told Deadline last week. “In reality, shows like this cannot operate without writing, and that is struck work.”

Barrymore, a member of SAG-AFTRA, technically would not violate the strike making a return as a host, reports NBC News. Hosts are represented by a separate agreement, which makes is possible for Barrymore and others to host a show during the strike.

Days after releasing her previous decision to resume production on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” the actor confronted critics by defending her choice.

“I own this choice,” Barrymore wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post, per The New York Times, adding, “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.”

On Friday, Barrymore took to social media to defend her controversial decision once again. In a since-deleted emotional video, Barrymore explained that the bringing the show back is “bigger than me,” per The New York Times.

“My decision to go back to the show — I didn’t want to hide behind people, so I won’t,” Barrymore explained in the video, per The New York Times. “And 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.”

“I wanted to do this because, as I said, this is bigger than me,” Barrymore continued in the video, “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.”

“I weighed the scales and I thought, if we could go on during a global pandemic, and everything that the world has experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?”

Following Barrymore’s decision to cease production on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” two more CBS shows, “The Talk” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show” both announced they would no longer make a return on Monday, Sept. 18, per The Cut.