In the days since several high-profile daytime talk shows — including “The View,” “The Talk,” and “The Drew Barrymore Show” — announced their intentions to continue on the airwaves without writers, backlash from supporters of the WGA strike has been swift. While the shows claim to be utilizing an unscripted format that forgoes monologues and other materials typically written by WGA members, the decision outraged many writers who saw it as undermining their larger cause.
As one of the most high-profile faces of the returning shows, Drew Barrymore has been the target of much of the outrage. On September 15, the actress and talk show host offered a tearful apology to her fans and writers.
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“I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,” Barrymore said of the decision in a video posted on her personal Instagram account. “I wanted to own a decision, so that it wasn’t a PR-protected situation, and I would just take full responsibility for my actions.”
While Barrymore continued to express regret, she made it clear that the show will continue to produce new episodes for reasons out of her control.
“I know there is just nothing I can do that will make this OK to those that it is not OK 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 anymore. It’s not who I am.”
Barrymore previously announced that her talk show would return starting September 18. In an earlier statement, SAG-AFTRA said, “‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ is produced under the Network Television Code which is a separate contract and is not struck. It is permissible work and Drew’s role as host does not violate the current strike rules.”
Barrymore’s role as host is covered under a contract different from actors currently on strike; the contract covering talk shows like “The Drew Barrymore Show” was already renewed in 2022.
“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,” Barrymore previously said in a statement announcing the show’s return. “I own this choice.”
Barrymore’s involvement in returning the show to the airwaves previously caused her co-head writer Cristina Kinion to speak out against the decision.
“I don’t see how what I do is different from writing for a scripted show, or writing feature films — which I also do,” Kinon said. “We’re all trying to make a career out of writing, and the AMPTP is trying to slowly chip away at that. And they wouldn’t have anything without writers; writers are the seed of all of creation. Now, there’s word that maybe some other shows are coming back. So it is frustrating, because it will prolong the strike, and we just want it to end.”
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