Drew Barrymore Apologizes For Bringing Back Show During Strike–But Does Not Change Decision

Drew Barrymore has formally responded to the backlash she received for resuming the production of The Drew Barrymore Show amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes in a four-minute video posted to her Instagram.

“I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in sensitive times,” she says in the clip. “I weighed the scales and I thought, if we could go on during a global pandemic and everything that the world is experiencing through 2020 why would this sideline us?”

Barrymore’s decision to cross the picket line by bringing back her CBS talk show, whose staff writers are currently on strike as members of the writers guild, has drawn criticism from the union and its members. On Monday, protesters gathered outside the CBS Broadcast Center, as The Drew Barrymore Show resumed taping.

In the video, Barrymore, 48, gives a tearful apology to writers and unions in the video, saying she “accepts responsibility” for the decision to tape the show amid the strikes and doesn’t now wish to “polish this with bells and whistles and publicists and corporate rhetoric.”

Barrymore stands by the decision to resume the production of the fourth season of the show, which will being airing on Sept. 18, saying “other people’s jobs [are] on the line,” and that the talk show will be in compliance with SAG rules to not discuss or promote struck work.

Following the announcement that the show would resume production, Barrymore was dropped as host of the upcoming National Book Awards ceremony. Other Hollywood figures and union members have vocalized their disapproval. Actor Alyssa Milano told the Associated Press, “I grew up with her, but I’m not sure that this was the right move for the strike.”

Within an hour of posting, the video received nearly half-a-million views, over 40,000 likes and thousands of comments–mainly criticizing Barrymore for apologizing while going ahead with the decision.

Write to Mariah Espada at mariah.espada@time.com.