NEW YORK – Drew Barrymore is not the only talk show host returning to air amid ongoing strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, but in the span of a week she has become perhaps the most high-profile target for criticism over the decision.
On Friday, the 48-year-old American actress doubled down, posting a since-deleted video on Instagram in which she apologised to striking writers, some of whom have picketed outside the studio where The Drew Barrymore Show resumed filming in New York City last week, and signalled that she had no intention of a reversal, at least for now.
“My decision to go back to the show – I didn’t want to hide behind people, so I won’t,” Barrymore said in the video.
“And 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.”
On Friday night, the video disappeared from her profile.
To begin filming the fourth season of her show amid the strike by the Writers Guild of America, the programme has returned to production without its three unionised writers, and with a promise that the new episodes – the first of which is set to air Monday – will not include written material that violates the rules of the strike.
Other daytime talk shows with unionised writers on staff, including The View, which began airing new episodes earlier this month, have taken a similar approach. The Jennifer Hudson Show and The Talk are among the shows that are also planning returns.
CBS Media Ventures, which produces The Drew Barrymore Show, noted in a statement on Friday that although Barrymore is a member of SAG-AFTRA, the actors union that is also on strike, she works with the talk show under a separate agreement called the Network Code. This makes it permissible for her to host the show amid the labour unrest.
The company said that the show considered its staff and crew of more than 150 people when making the decision to resume production, and that the show will be “completely unscripted” until the end of the strike.
“I wanted to...