Drew Barrymore apologizes for wrongfully ignoring writers’ strikes

For 146 days, the SAG-AFTRA strikes have been delaying the production of films and TV shows in the name of economic justice. Finally, on Sept. 24, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a deal. The WGA has yet to finalize this deal, but the paperwork seems to include almost all demands made by the strike, including increases in royalty payments and protection from replacements by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over.”

– Drew Barrymore

However, before this conclusion, the internet exploded with criticism against actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore. Amid the strike, Barrymore announced that her program “The Drew Barrymore Show” would return despite the loss of WGA writers. This was the catalyst for the backlash, as the show’s writers declared that any writing potentially done for the show would be in violation of the WGA strike rules.

After the backlash, Barrymore posted an apology video on her social media accounts where she got emotional over the harm she had caused others.

“I believe there is nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it okay… 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… I deeply apologize to writers, I deeply apologize to unions, I deeply apologize,” she said.

While she meant to patch up her mistakes, this apology, partnered with the decision to continue releasing new episodes of the show, only increased the criticism, leading to her deleting the video soon after posting it. Only after this did she finally decide to cancel the premiere of her show and stand with the strike.

Despite being a long-term fan of Barrymore, I disagree with the way she has handled things. For someone who has been in that world of television/film production her entire life, quite literally acting in movies since she was five years old, I would have thought her passion for the field would have made her more understanding of the message of the strike. Especially since there are other actors and actresses still participating in the strike to this day, their demands not having been met at all. 

Many others are also disappointed in Barrymore, as they are used to seeing her as this symbol of sunshine and kindness. When people look up Barrymore on social media, it is hard not to find videos highlighting how caring she is towards others. Plus, with her public display of kindness on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” like advocating for the nonprofit Just a Kind Note, it is hard to imagine her as anything but that. From this, it can be understandable why people are upset with the way she has handled things and why her apology video felt ingenuine. 

As of right now, the release of “The Drew Barrymore Show” has been postponed indefinitely.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere 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 stated in an Instagram post.

Overall, I think it is good she is doing the right thing now, but I still wonder why it took so long for her to make this decision. By waiting until after all of the backlash, she has positioned herself as someone who only acts depending on her public image, not her own moral code, a devastating revelation to those who looked up to her warm personality.




Featured photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi, Flickr