Drew Barrymore has halted production on her US talk show following a furious backlash against her decision to press ahead with it despite a strike by actors and writers.
In a statement shared on Instagram on Sunday, Barrymore wrote she had “listened to everyone” and would now pause the show’s premiere until the industrial action was over.
It comes a day after the actress and presenter posted a teary video to Instagram in which she “accepted responsibility” for the row – while also claiming that “I know there’s just nothing I can do that will make this OK”. The clip now appears to have been deleted.
The fourth series of The Drew Barrymore Show had been due to debut on CBS on Monday 18 September, but without the contribution of striking writers.
Union SAG-AFTRA had said the 48-year-old’s role as a host on the programme technically did “not violate the current strike rules,” but critics said the move undermined the walkouts and demonstrated a lack of solidarity with her colleagues in the industry.
Barrymore was also accused of being a “scab” and was dropped as host of November’s National Book Awards in the US after she announced her initial decision to go ahead with the show earlier this month.
In her statement announcing her initial decision to press ahead with the programme, she said she was “making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me”.
She added: “I own this choice.”
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In her fresh statement on Sunday, Barrymore said: “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.”
US writers in the film and TV industry launched strike action in May – before they were joined by actors and performers in July – in the biggest industrial action to hit the industry for more than 60 years.
The dispute, centred around pay, concerns over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the treatment of workers by streaming platforms, shows little sign of being resolved soon – and has forced many shows off air.
Upcoming film releases and industry events are also likely to be affected unless an agreement with studio bosses is reached soon.