In the face of mounting criticism for the decision to bring The Drew Barrymore Show back on air amid the writers strike — which included the National Book Awards removing her as host — Drew Barrymore posted an emotional video apologizing for her actions on September 15. She laments the public’s hurt feelings while also explaining why she will remain steadfast in her plans to move forward with the show. “There’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it okay,” she began. “I wanted to own the decision so it wasn’t a PR-protected situation, and I would like to take full responsibility for my actions. I know there’s just nothing I can do that will make this okay for those it is not okay with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that.” Barrymore went on to say, “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.”
Through a tearful smile, Barrymore explained the “many reasons” as to why this is a “complex” situation. “’I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life, and this is one of them,” she said. “I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize.” As for the reason she decided to return to air amid the strike? The actress and talk-show host said that the difficult decision was made after considering the bigger picture, clarifying that “we aren’t going to break rules, and we are going to be in compliance. I wanted to do this because it’s bigger than me, and there are other people’s jobs on the line.” Barrymore’s role is not a SAG-AFTRA position, so she is technically in line with strike rules, though the WGA confirmed that writing on the show is not allowed. “Drew Barrymore should not be on the air while her writers are on strike fighting for a fair deal,” a guild spokesperson told Deadline following the video’s release. “In reality, shows like this cannot operate without writing, and that is struck work.” The daytime program is scheduled to return for its fourth season on September 18 as the WGA continues to picket the CBS Broadcast Center. She’s just trying to keep Ross Mathews employed in the Drag Race offseason.