Drew Barrymore has halted production on her US talk show after a furious backlash against her decision to continue with it despite a strike by actors and writers.
In a statement shared on Instagram on Sunday, Barrymore wrote that she had “listened to everyone” and would now pause the show’s premiere until the fight was over.
It comes the next day actress and presenter posted a tearful video on Instagram where she “took responsibility” for the row – while also claiming that “I know there’s nothing I can do that’s going to make this OK”. The clip now appears to have been deleted.
The fourth season of The Drew Barrymore Show was set to debut on CBS on Monday, September 18, but without the contributions of notable writers.
Union SAG-AFTRA had said the 48-year-old’s role as host on the show technically “did not violate current strike rules,” but critics said the move undermined the walkouts and demonstrated a lack of solidarity with her colleagues in the industry.
So was Barrymore accused of being a “scumbag” and dropped as host of November’s National Book Awards in the US after she first announced her intention to go ahead with the show earlier this month.
In her statement announcing her first decision, she said she “made the choice to return for the first time in this strike to our show that may have my name on it, but this is bigger than just me”.
She added: “I own this choice.”
In her fresh statement on Sunday, Barrymore said: “I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and of course to our incredible team who work on the show and have made it what it is today.
“We really tried to find our way forward. And I really hope for an industry-wide solution very soon.”
American writers in the film and television industry went on strike in May – before being joined by actors and artists in July – in biggest industrial action to hit the industry for more than 60 years.
The dispute, centered around pay, concerns over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the treatment of workers by streaming platforms, shows little sign of being resolved soon – and has forced many shows off the air.
Upcoming film releases and industry events are also likely to be affected unless a deal is struck with studio bosses soon.