Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels, 50 First Dates) decided to resume production for her talk show The Drew Barrymore Show amidst the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. This decision led to a great deal of controversy, and an offer given to Barrymore to host The National Book Awards 74th Awards Ceremony was revoked. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barrymore defended her decision in a video posted on Instagram, which has since been deleted.
In the video, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, Barrymore stated, “I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention. We aren’t gonna 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 continued, “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 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.”
Barrymore further defended her decision by stating that it was not an easy one to make, but it is a decision she will stand by. She explained, “I don’t exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it’s hard to make decisions from that place. So all I can say is that I wanted to accept responsibility, 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. 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.”
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, The Drew Barrymore Show has employed writers in the past who are a part of the Writers Guild of America. Additionally, the show is produced by CBS Media Ventures, which is a division of a major media company that the WGA is striking against.
The Drew Barrymore Show is not the only daytime talk show to continue production despite the ongoing strikes. Other shows, including The Talk, have decided to resume production as well.