In the video, the host express, I think there’s nothing I can do or say at this moment to make it all right.
Shortly after sharing an Drew Barrymore posts deletes emotional apology and express her regret for resuming her daytime talk show during the Hollywood writers’ strike, it appears that the apology video has remove.
In the video, Barrymore acknowledged the controversy surrounding her decision and confirmed that The Drew Barrymore Show would indeed premiere on September 18th as planned. She became emotional while offering a heartfelt apology to both writers and unions for her choice to bypass the picket line and return to broadcasting. However, she then shifted her stance by announcing that the show would proceed with its scheduled premiere but without the participation of the striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers, who have been on strike since May in their pursuit of fairer wages and improved working conditions.
In her extensive video recorded in her kitchen, devoid of what she referred to as a PR machine” backing her, Barrymore expressed her profound apologies to the writers and unions involved. She assumed full responsibility” for proceeding with the show and acknowledged the impossibility of immediately rectifying the situation with words alone. She characterized the decision as “complex” and one that transcended her individual interests, recognizing the livelihoods of many others were at stake. Barrymore affirmed her commitment to adhering to regulations, despite the show’s classification as a struck show by WGA. She concluded by emphasizing that her intentions had never been to distress or harm anyone, asserting that such actions were not reflective of her character.
The response she was seeking remains unclear, but the majority of people were not receptive to her partial apology. Debra Messing, who is currently participating in a strike alongside the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, expressed her dissatisfaction in the comments. She said, “You now have the opportunity to halt production. You can opt to compensate your staff on par with other talk show hosts who have shown solidarity with the writers. The livelihoods of thousands of union members are on the line (significantly more than those working on your show), as is the future of our beloved industry. I sincerely hope you reconsider your decision.”
Ever Carradine, who is also part of the SAG strike, shared her thoughts by stating, I had hoped that this video would be an announcement of your decision to step away from your show and stand with your writers on the picket line. I’ve always been a fan of yours, both as an artist and as a human being, but I can’t comprehend your choice to cross a picket line… It’s not too late to change your mind.
Renée Felice Smith, who made an impact with her SAG commentary, questioned, “Who’s guiding your decisions here? Staying steadfast isn’t the right approach.”
On the other hand, Bess Kalb, a writer participating in the strike, expressed her disappointment with Barrymore’s video. It was filmed in the star’s luxurious $8 million New York City duplex, which had recently undergone a significant kitchen makeover.
Barrymore declares the show’s comeback, sans WGA writers.
Barrymore made an announcement on Sunday, revealing that her talk show’s fourth season is set to premiere on September 18. (Please note that this post appears to have been deleted since then.) In her statement, Barrymore emphasized her commitment to adhering to the rules of both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA during the ongoing strike, pledging not to engage in discussions or promotions related to struck film and television productions.
It’s important to note that Barrymore’s talk show falls under the SAG-AFTRA Network Television Code contract, specifically covering morning news shows, talk shows, soap operas, and game shows, which remains in effect until June 2024 and is not subject to the strike. However, the show does fall under the jurisdiction of the WGA’s film and TV contract, which is currently part of the strike. Consequently, Barrymore’s show will be returning without its WGA-affiliated writers. A spokesperson from CBS Media Ventures has clarified that the show will not involve any writing activities that would violate the strike’s regulations.
WGA has expressed concern regarding the resumption of production. In a tweet, it stated, The Drew Barrymore Show falls under WGA coverage and was affected by the strike. Despite this, the show intends to resume without its writers. The Guild is committed to picketing productions that continue during the strike, and any writing on The Drew Barrymore Show is deemed to be in violation of WGA strike regulations.
Despite hopes that Barrymore might have a change of heart at the last minute, the talk show proceeded with its taping on Monday at the CBS Broadcast Center in NYC. Among the protestors outside were three of the show’s WGA writers, including Chelsea White, who expressed her disappointment with the show’s resumption.
“In the broader context, this situation extends beyond just the three of us who write for The Drew Barrymore Show,” White shared with the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s disheartening to see the show resume because it sends a message that unionized writers are undervalued. This move runs counter to the collective efforts of the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, and all the unions working together to confront the avarice of the studios.”
In the studio, two audience members who sported WGA pins, which were given to them by picketers, reported that they were requested to exit before the commencement of the show due to their pin-wearing. Barrymore’s spokesperson asserted that she had no knowledge of this incident. The WGA intends to hold another picket on Tuesday.
Backlash Against Barrymore
David Guggenheim, the WGA writer known for his work on Designated Survivor, voiced his concerns in the comments of Barrymore’s post announcing the return of her show. His comment received over 3,000 likes, and he remarked, “Your show might bring writers together, but it seems we’ll be gathering on the picket line.” Another commenter, also receiving significant support, expressed disappointment by asking, “Will you walk past your own writers on that picket line?”
This backlash marks a significant shift for Barrymore, who earned praise back in May for her decision to withdraw from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards in a show of solidarity with the writers. In her statement posted on Sunday, Barrymore clarified her previous decision, explaining that she withdrew because it directly conflicted with the strike’s focus on issues related to studios, streaming services, and the film and television industry. At the time, it was also the strike’s first week, and she believed her actions were appropriate to support the writers.
However, her choice to return to the show was motivated by the realization that this strike was about more than just her; it also impacted other employees associated with the show. She acknowledged her ownership of this choice by stating, “I am responsible for this decision.”
Barrymore is not the only show that has decided to continue despite the ongoing strike. The View, which also employs a few writers from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), has chosen to air new episodes throughout the strike. The WGA members have been picketing outside the show’s New York City studio for months, and they plan to resume their protests on Tuesday. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg has acknowledged on-air that the show, which is mostly unscripted, will have a less polished feel without their writers, as there will be no one to fulfill their usual roles.
Meanwhile, The Jennifer Hudson Show, The Talk, and Sherri are all making their returns, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter. The Jennifer Hudson Show is set to return as scheduled on September 18th, and it also relies on WGA writers, as indicated on the guild’s website. The Talk, which also employs WGA writers, initially went on hiatus when the strike began in May but is now resuming production. On the other hand, Sherri does not employ any WGA writers.
As of now, The Kelly Clarkson Show has not announced its return date, and Yahoo’s inquiry to the show’s publicist about its resumption has gone unanswered.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Tamron, Live with Kelly and Mark, and Sherri do not employ writers affiliated with the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
Is Barrymore being specifically targeted or isolated?
Media industry expert Alicia Kozma, who currently serves as the director of Indiana University Cinema, sheds light on the contentious situation surrounding the ongoing strike and Drew Barrymore’s decision to resume her show despite the unresolved labor dispute.
“While the strike continues and negotiations have hit a significant impasse,” Kozma explains, “Barrymore appears to have intentionally chosen to bypass the strike and disregard the show’s contractual obligations. This is the primary reason why the show has faced significant public backlash.”
Kozma also notes that Barrymore’s Instagram statement attempting to justify the show’s return did not sit well with the public. “Another factor contributing to the negative public sentiment,” Kozma points out, “is her mention of stepping down as the host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards due to the strikes. It gives the impression that she is using this as a cover for relaunching the show, despite being a signatory to the Writers Guild of America (WGA).”
She goes on to highlight the unique position that Drew Barrymore holds. “Drew Barrymore not only acts as a talk-show host but also carries the legacy of a Hollywood family with intergenerational wealth. A significant part of this wealth was established, maintained, and bolstered by their involvement in unions. Her father, grandfather, and she herself have enjoyed the protections and benefits of union membership, which have played a pivotal role in their generational prosperity. Consequently, there is a prevailing sense of hypocrisy, especially online, regarding her recent actions.”
Kozma acknowledges the intricate nature of the Hollywood strikes, acknowledging their complexity, given the existence of not just two strikes but multiple contracts. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that when we typically think of writers and actors, we tend to focus on the wealthiest 1% who are multimillionaires. Yet, there are numerous others in the industry who do not fall into this high-income category. This is precisely why they are advocating for improved compensation.
Following Barrymore’s return to her show, she has been replaced as the host of the National Book Awards ceremony. The National Book Foundation released a statement saying, “Our priority is to maintain the Awards’ emphasis on honoring writers and literature, and we appreciate Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this matter.”
Things are far from ordinary on the talk show.
Viewers will have the option to tune in or refrain from watching Barrymore’s upcoming show, depending on their stance regarding crossing picket lines. The show, set to return on September 18, promises to feature a lineup of “cutting-edge guests and prominent influencers,” as outlined in a press release. Among the confirmed guests are renowned celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton, co-anchor of Drew’s News Ross Mathews, esteemed interior designer Mikel Welch, accomplished chef Pilar Valdes, and the expert in sustainable living, Danny Seo. Shifting its focus towards lifestyle content rather than pure entertainment, the show will also introduce a new segment titled “Take Care Everywhere,” where Barrymore will join forces with Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, the founder of Menopause Bootcamp, to address questions that many individuals feel too uncomfortable to ask their own doctors.
Traditionally, the show has relied heavily on celebrity guests, with Barrymore excelling in her ability to coax her peers into sharing deeply personal stories, often reciprocating by sharing her own experiences. However, it’s important to note that individuals associated with the striking unions will not be able to discuss their ongoing projects on the show, and many of them may choose not to appear on the program altogether to show solidarity with the picket lines.