In an unexpected change of heart, Drew Barrymore has decided to halt production of her CBS daytime talk show following intense public criticism and picketing by members of the striking writers’ and actors’ unions.

Drew Barrymore Show
The premiere of The Drew Barrymore Show has been paused. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The Drew Barrymore Show, which resumed taping last Monday at the studios on W57th Street in Manhattan — which were picketed by Writers Guild of America (WGA) members — will now remain off-air until the strikes are resolved.

Initially defending her decision to film the show, Barrymore stated, “This is bigger than me,” aligning with CBS Media Ventures’ support, who cited over 150 jobs at stake. However, a deleted Friday night video and a subsequent Sunday morning Instagram post revealed Barrymore’s reverse decision, apologizing to those affected.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. 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. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon,” said Barrymore.

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WGA pickets outside The Drew Barrymore Show on W57th Street last week. Photo: Phil O’Brien

CBS Media Ventures supported the reversal, acknowledging the complexity of Barrymore’s situation. While other daytime talk shows, including The View, continue to air without their unionized writers, Barrymore’s move puts additional pressure on such programs to consider their next steps.

Barrymore, herself a SAG-AFTRA member, technically could have continued presenting under a separate Network Television Code, but chose to halt production.

Many local workers will be affected by the decision. Matthew Kilgore, who is a tailor on The Drew Barrymore Show, said on Instagram: “Well…that wasn’t how I expected to start my Sunday.” He showed a picture of his Bernina 1008 sewing machine with the caption: “Let’s go girl… Miss Bernina 1008. We’re freelance for a while.”

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