"I believe there's nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK," the television host shared of resuming production on 'The Drew Barrymore Show' amid the WGA and SAG strikes
“I believe there's nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,” said Barrymore, 48. “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. I know there's just nothing I can do that will make this OK for those that is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that.”
She explained there are “so many reasons why this is so complex,” adding, “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.”
Barrymore went on to take ownership of the decision to resume production and apologize for her actions, sharing, “I've been through so many ups and downs in my life and this is one of them. I deeply apologize to [the] writers. I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize. I don't exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it's hard to make decisions from that place" before tearing up.
“So all I can say is that I wanted to accept responsibility,” she continued. “And no, I don't have a PR machine behind this, my decision to go back to the show. I didn't want to hide behind people so I won't. 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.”
The television personality went to address the question of why she was filming the show amid the ongoing strikes, explaining, “Why am I doing this? Well, I certainly couldn't have expected this kind of attention, and we aren’t going to break rules, and we will be in compliance. 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 added, “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 I thought if we could go on during a global pandemic and everything that the world is experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?”
“So, I want to just put one foot in front of the other and make a show that's there for people regardless of anything else that's happening in the world because that's when I think we all need something that wants to be there, being very realistic in very realistic times. So that is my why,” she concluded.
On Sunday, Barrymore announced plans to resume filming on Instagram. Her statement mentioned her April decision to drop out of hosting the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards before the WGA strike began on May 2. Barrymore also pointed out that her show’s previous season finished filming before that date.
“I own this choice,” Barrymore wrote in the social media post. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind."
“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,” the post continued.
Barrymore went on to write that she wants “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,” adding, “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 4 once again with an astute humility.”
The Writers Guild of America, East wrote on X that The Drew Barrymore Show is “struck” and that any writing on the show would be “in violation of WGA strike rules.”
When filming resumed on Monday, there was a picket line outside the studio. An audience member also shared on X that he and another audience member wearing pins and T-shirts to show support for the WGA were kicked out of the studio.
A representative for The Drew Barrymore Show acknowledged the incident in a statement to PEOPLE and expressed “regret” with the situation.
“It is our policy to welcome everyone to our show tapings,” the spokesperson said. “Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two audience members were not permitted to attend or were not allowed access. Drew was completely unaware of the incident and we are in the process of reaching out to the affected audience members to offer them new tickets.”
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The Drew Barrymore Show is set to return on air Monday.
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