Drew Barrymore

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Drew Barrymore and other daytime talk shows halt production amid strike backlash

Barrymore belatedly listened to criticism about her choice to film through the writers’ strike.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

After posting a widely derided non-apology for restarting her talk show during the writers’ strike, Drew Barrymore has decided to halt production after all. Two other daytime shows echoed this decision over the weekend, likely swayed by public opinion supporting the strikes.

Barrymore shared a statement on Instagram, saying she would “pause” The Drew Barrymore Show until the strike is over. “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.”

She previously faced criticism for what many people saw as an incoherent and out-of-touch attitude to the strikes.

While The Drew Barrymore Show doesn’t involve as much scripted content as late-night talk shows, it did employ WGA writers. This meant it was technically a struck project. So when Barrymore started taping the new season last week, the WGA organized a picket outside, meaning all guests and crew members would have to cross a picket line to enter the studio. Two audience members were also kicked out of a taping for wearing WGA solidarity pins.

Barrymore underestimated how much blowback she’d receive for these decisions. In less than a week, she attracted in-person protests, criticism from the TV industry, and tons of social media backlash. The National Book Awards also disinvited her from hosting their awards show.

Learning from this example, The Talk and The Jennifer Hudson Show quickly announced plans to postpone their new seasons as well. Bill Maher announced a similar decision on Monday, tweeting that he was delaying his plans to restart production on Real Time. Meanwhile some strikers are now turning their attention to Dancing With The Stars, which is reportedly a WGA-covered show.

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