On Friday, the actress posted a lengthy video on Instagram that addressed her decision to resume filming The Drew Barrymore Show, which she announced would be returning on Sept. 10.
Within hours, the post was deleted from her page, along with the original announcement of the return of her show.
In the since-deleted teary-eyed video, Barrymore, 48, addressed the backlash she’s faced for her decision as she said the situation was “so complex,” but her “intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anyone.”
“I believe there's nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,” she said as the lengthy apology began. “I wanted to own a decision so that it wasn't a PR, protected situation. And I would just take full responsibility for my actions. I know there's just nothing I can do that will make this OK for those that is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that.”
The actress continued, “I've been through so many ups and downs in my life and this is one of them. I deeply apologize to [the] writers. I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize. I don't exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it's hard to make decisions from that place.”
She said she “wanted to accept responsibility,” but also elaborated on why she decided to go ahead with the show’s new season in the first place.
“Why am I doing this? Well, I certainly couldn't have expected this kind of attention, and we aren’t going to 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 added that since the show initially launched during the pandemic, she believed airing during the ongoing strike would be another way to be “there for people in sensitive times.”
She concluded, “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. So that is my why."
Barrymore’s apology video came several days after two audience members claimed they were “kicked out” of the show’s first taping for expressing their support for the WGA strike, which added even more backlash.
Dominic Turiczek shared in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that he and another audience member were “verbally assaulted” by the show’s crew and forced to leave. They were wearing pins and T-shirts in support of the strike, he said.
“It’s clear they don’t support #WGAStrong, writers or fans! #DrewTheRightThing So we took shirts and joined. F--- that.”
In a follow-up tweet, Turiczek admitted he “knew about the #WGA strike, just not that they were picketing at Drew’s show.”
“We were unaware until inside, that her show had WGA writers, thus crossing picket lines by starting again,” he added. “We won the tickets last minute and didn’t do enough research, clearly.”
“It is our policy to welcome everyone to our show tapings,” the spokesperson said. “Due to heightened security concerns today, we regret that two audience members were not permitted to attend or were not allowed access. Drew was completely unaware of the incident and we are in the process of reaching out to the affected audience members to offer them new tickets.”
On top of facing backlash online for her decision to resume filming her show’s fourth season, Barrymore was also ousted from her spot as host of the 2023 National Book Awards.
“The National Book Award is an evening dedicated to celebrating the power of literature, and the incomparable contributions of writers to our culture,” the foundation said in a statement, published on X (formerly known as Twitter). “In light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony.”
The statement continued, “Our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation.”
Barrymore was chosen to host the ceremony in July, with the foundation originally citing her as someone who “demonstrated their enduring belief that books have the power to change readers’ lives—by opening doors, sparking conversations, and building community.”