Hollywood star Drew Barrymore has deleted her tearful apology for resuming production on her talk show after striking actors including Alyssa Milano, Debra Messing, and Bradley Whitford shamed her for “undermining union solidarity.”
Pro-union journalists also joined in the nasty pile-on against Barrymore, with radical leftist Molly Jong-Fast calling her a “scab.”
The E.T. actress posted a tearful video Friday in which she defended the decision to re-start shooting on the syndicated The Drew Barrymore Show, while also directly apologizing to striking writers.
“I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions. I deeply apologize,” she said, her eyes filling with tears.
Later, she explained why the show will resume production: “Why am I doing this? I certainly couldn’t have expected this kind of attention. We aren’t gonna break rules, and we will be in compliance. I wanted to do this because as I said, this is bigger than me, and there are other people’s jobs on the line.”
By Saturday, the video was gone from her Instagram account, though versions of it can still be found on X, or Twitter.
The West Wing actor Bradley Whitford slammed Barrymore for what he called “undermining union solidarity” in the fact of the Hollywood actors and writers strikes.
“Drew Barrymore would like you to know that undermining union solidarity at the most crucial moment in Hollywood labor history makes her the victim,” he sarcastically wrote on X. “This has been, like, a super tough week for her.”
Alyssa Milano told the AP that while “I love her very much, this is not the right move,” adding that it “impacts the strength of our movement.” Milano said the decision was “not a great move.”
Debra Messing pressured Barrymore to reverse her decision.
“You can choose now to halt production. You can choose to pay your employees like other talk show hosts who have stood in solidarity with the writers,” the Will & Grace actress reportedly wrote on Instagram, in a post that has since been deleted.
“There are thousands of union members jobs and livelihoods that are at stake (exponential more than those who work on your show) and the future of our beloved industry. I hope you will reconsider.”
In her since-deleted video, Barrymore expressed a messy mix of emotions about the resumption of production on her show.
“I don’t exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it’s hard to make decisions from that place. So all I can say is that I wanted to accept responsibility, and no, I don’t have a PR machine behind this. My decision to go back to the show — I didn’t want to hide behind people. So I won’t,” she said.
“I won’t polish this with bells and whistles and publicists and corporate rhetoric. I’ll just stand out there and accept and be responsible.”
Barrymore isn’t the only celebrity who has earned the ire of striking Hollywood unions.
Bill Maher recently announced that he too will re-start production on his own HBO talk show, though without writers.
Hollywood writers and actors are escalating their war with the major studios and streamers as their dual strikes drag on with no end in sight, putting tens of thousands of below-the-line crew members out of work across the country.
SAG-AFTRA leadership recently called the studios “petty tyrants” for thus far failing to meet the union’s demands regarding improved streaming compensation and guarantees that actors won’t be replaced by artificial intelligence technology.