Drew Barrymore says she’s putting the return of her daytime talk show on hold amid backlash until the strike is over.
“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” Barrymore announced Sunday on Instagram. “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.” See her post below.
CBS Media Ventures, which is behind The Drew Barrymore Show, also issued a new statement through a spkesperson Sunday morning, saying, “We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her.
Deadline announced on Sept. 4 that The Drew Barrymore Show will return for a fourth season on Monday, Sept. 18. The news sparked backlash. Barrymore defended the move in an Instagram post last weekend, saying the decision “is bigger than me.” Over the past week, the controversy continued to grow, with the E.T. star drawing intense criticism from the WGA and her fellow actors.
“Drew Barrymore should not be on the air while her writers are on strike fighting for a fair deal,” a guild spokesperson told Deadline last week after her announcement. “In reality, shows like this cannot operate without writing, and that is struck work.”
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On Friday, Barrymore posted an emotional apology video on Instagram, which was met by more criticism. She later took the video down.
A spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures, which is behind the daytime talker, defended the show’s return in a statement Friday to Deadline, saying they “are very mindful and sensitive to the complex circumstances surrounding the show’s return and we will be in full compliance with all our labor agreements and any strike rules.” CBS also noted its hosts work under a separate agreement with SAG-AFTRA that allows Barrymore and other daytime hosts to continue hosting their shows. “While our show has been largely an unscripted talk show from the beginning, the new shows we are producing this season will be completely unscripted until the strike ends,” the statement emphasized, adding “No one on our staff will fill a writing position.”
WGA began picketing the show last week when it resumed taping in NYC.
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Meanwhile, Bill Maher announced he was bringing his show Real Time back this coming week and also has received much criticism. His first show is set to premiere September 22. WGA called the move “disappointing” and has vowed to picket the show on its return.
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The View previously returned for its 27th season on ABC.
Talk shows are covered under a separate contract, the Network Code, under which hosts and guests are not technically breaking the strike as long as hosts and guests don’t promote work covered by television, theatrical or streaming contracts. The Network Code also covers reality TV, sports, morning news shows, soap operas and game shows.