Drew Barrymore deletes video defending controversial choice to cross picket line

Drew Barrymore does her best to explain why she’s crossing the writers’ strike picket line.

The actor first expressed solidarity with members of the Writers Guild of America, who went on strike starting in May in an effort to secure fair wages and regulation of artificial intelligence at the screen. (Unionized HuffPost employees are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East.)

But the actor and talk show host awkwardly announced Sunday that filming on “The Drew Barrymore Show” would resume this week.

Barrymore, who has since received widespread criticism for returning to work without her writers, posted a baffling 4-minute video on Instagram on Friday in an attempt to defend herself.

She later removed the video from her page after criticism from fellow actors as well as writers and other groups, Deadline noted.

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do or say right now to make everything go well,” she said. “I wanted to make a decision so that this was not a PR protected situation and I take full responsibility for it. I know there is nothing I can do to make this acceptable to those with whom it is not acceptable. is not.”

Barrymore argued “there are so many reasons why it’s so complex” and became emotional saying she never wanted to “upset or hurt anyone.” The actor claimed “that’s not who I am” before declaring that she “has been through so many ups and downs” in life.

The former child actress suggested this controversy was “one” of those times, likely unaware that the highs of this situation land firmly on her side – while the lows of the industry’s lack of a fair share of profits to diminishing residuals, continue to affect writers’ livelihoods.

“I deeply apologize to the writers,” Barrymore said. “I deeply apologize to the unions. …I don’t know exactly what to say, because sometimes when things are so difficult it’s hard to make decisions from there…I wanted to accept my responsibilities.”

Barrymore repeatedly claimed Friday that his video was not the result of a “PR machine” and had not been polished by “publicists and corporate rhetoric.” The frustrations expressed by social media users about his return to work have nothing to do with his posts.

Barrymore said Friday: “I’m just going to sit there and accept it and be responsible. »

She deleted the clip after criticism from actors like Bradley Whitford, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter)“Drew Barrymore would like you to know that undermining union solidarity at the most crucial time in Hollywood labor history makes her a victim. It has been a very difficult week for her.

Actors David Krumholtz and Debra Messing also criticized Barrymore in the comments section of her since-deleted video, according to Deadline.

“It’s complex for thousands of people. Who continue to strike and respect the strike rules. Extremely complex,” Krumholtz wrote.

“You could shut it up and you would be considered brave.” You would be forgiven. What makes the strike more complex for thousands of people is that you are making a decision that harms their efforts to try to reach a fair agreement in a cutthroat corporate environment that will use your show as an example of division and of disunity.

A WGA spokesperson, in a statement to Deadline after Barrymore shared the clip, said she “should not be on air while her writers are on strike to fight for a fair deal.”

“The reality is that shows like this can’t work without writing, and it’s a piece of cake,” the statement continued.

While the creation of “The Drew Barrymore Show” during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 undoubtedly helped writers who were otherwise unable to find work, its return during the strike obviously takes away much of their work. influence they needed.

Hollywood is experiencing two simultaneous strikes, with the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) also going on strike in July after their own negotiations with film and television studios failed .

“There’s a huge question of why – why am I doing this? » Barrymore said with a chuckle. “Well, I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention.” We will not break the rules and we will respect them. I wanted to do this because… it’s bigger than me.

Barrymore suggested that her choice to resume filming was admirable because “there are other people’s jobs on the line.” She then falsely equated the 2020 shooting with crossing the picket line.

“I just wanted to make a show that would be there for people in sensitive times,” she said. “And I weighed the scales and I said to myself, ‘If we can continue during a global pandemic and everything that the world went through until 2020, why would that sideline us?’”

This article has been updated to reflect that Barrymore deleted the video from her Instagram page Friday evening.

Ben Blanchet contributed to this report.


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