Drew Barrymore won't air her show until strikes are over, apologizes after backlash

Talk show host Drew Barrymore extended her "deepest apologies" and said she would hold off on airing the new season of her show amid backlash for taping during ongoing strikes by writers and actors in the U.S.

Host faced pushback online, at picket lines for resuming show during writers' strike

A brunette woman smiling against a red-orange backdrop.
Talk show host Drew Barrymore poses on the red carpet as she arrives for the Time 100 Gala in New York City on April 26. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Drew Barrymore, who was criticized for taping new episodes of her daytime talk show despite ongoing strikes by writers and actors in the U.S., now says she'll wait until the labour issues are resolved. 

Hours later, CBS's The Talk did the same. The Jennifer Hudson Show, which was also set to return on Monday, has reportedly pushed back its return, too.

"I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show's premiere until the strike is over," Barrymore posted on Instagram on Sunday.

"I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today."

Barrymore's decision to return to the air without her three union writers and with picketers outside her studio was met with pushback on social media. Her show resumed taping in New York last week and was picketed by striking writers.

Other daytime shows have resumed. The View has returned for its 27th season on ABC, while Tamron Hall and Live With Kelly and Ryan — neither of which are governed by writers guild rules — have also been producing fresh episodes. 

But The Talk scrapped its restart, planned for Monday. "We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date," CBS said in a statement Sunday.

Ariel Dumas, head writer and supervising producer for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert reacted on X, formerly Twitter: "This is really great," she wrote, saying The Drew Barrymore Show "decided to do the right thing. I hope The View and others will follow suit."

Hosts and guests are not technically in violation of the strike as long as they don't discuss or promote work covered by television, theatrical or streaming contracts.

This is because talk shows are covered under a separate contract — the so-called Network Code — from the one actors and writers are striking. The Network Code also covers reality TV, sports, morning news shows, soap operas and game shows.

Barrymore's earlier decision to bring back her talk show during the strikes led to her being uninvited to host the National Book Awards in November. The organization rescinded her invitation "in light of the announcement that The Drew Barrymore Show will resume production.

The ongoing strikes pit the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.