The about-face comes after a week of backlash and allegations that Barrymore was a “scab” for resuming filming the Drew Barrymore Show while the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) continue to strike.
Barrymore announced the decision on Sunday in an Instagram post, writing: “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.”
Comments under the post were mainly positive, with fans and fellow actors celebrating the move.
The fourth season of Barrymore’s talk show was slated to return to TV on Monday. Filming for the new episodes moved ahead last week — without her three union writers — while picketers protested outside her New York studio.
CBS Media Ventures, which distributes The Drew Barrymore Show, expressed support for the actor’s decision to delay the season’s premiere.
“We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her,” the organization’s statement read.
According to Variety, The Drew Barrymore Show will air repeat episodes for the foreseeable future and the episodes taped last week will not be broadcast.
The backlash against Barrymore for resuming production of her talk show during the Hollywood strikes was swift.
A day after filming relaunched, the 50 First Dates actor was dropped as the host for the National Book Foundation’s annual book awards.
“In light of the announcement that ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ will resume production, the National Book Foundation has rescinded Ms. Barrymore’s invitation to host the 74th National Book Awards Ceremony,” the organization announced on Sept. 12.
“Our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the Awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation.”
As the pushback continued, Barrymore released a tearful apology on her Instagram page, which has since been deleted. In the video, posted Friday, Barrymore doubled down on her decision to bring her talk show back during the strikes.
“I wanted to do this because as I said, this is bigger than me and there are other people’s jobs on the line,” she said.
Barrymore apologized to writers and unions in the video and said she was taking responsibility for the decision.
Shortly after Barrymore decided to put a pause on her talk show, other shows followed suit, including The Jennifer Hudson Show and CBS’ The Talk.
Both shows also received backlash for resuming production during the strikes and were slated to return to the air on Monday.
Hours after Barrymore’s announcement, The Talk said it would “evaluate plans for a new launch date.” The Jennifer Hudson Show said it would also push back its premiere.
On Monday, Bill Maher announced on social media that he was postponing the return of Real Time with Bill Maher until the strikes end.
“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike. Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of Real Time, for now, and hope they can finally get this done,” Maher wrote.
Popular talk show The View has been airing throughout the strikes without its two union writers.