Drew Barrymore’s show may return in October, but the damage is already done

Remember when Drew Barrymore shot herself in the foot (and mouth) by announcing she was bringing back her show amid the writers strike, then during a taping her crew kicked out two people wearing WGA pins, then she posted a word-salad video on a Friday doubling down on her decision to return, only to give in (to common sense and decency) by Sunday and put her show on pause? Good times. All that happened in the span of one week. If I have whiplash from it, surely she does as well. Now that the WGA has reached a tentative agreement with AMPTP, Drew might have nausea as well — she was only two weeks away from completely avoiding this epic PR disaster! Like other daytime talk shows, The Drew Barrymore Show could come back in mid to late October, pending finalization of the new deal. But Drew will forever have the stink of her (self-inflicted) saga attached to her reporting, as exemplified here by ET Online:

With the Writers Guild of America (WGA) having struck a tentative agreement to end its ongoing strike, The Drew Barrymore Show is eyeing a return to the airwaves.

ET has learned that The Drew Barrymore Show is looking to return in October.

Host Drew Barrymore faced intense backlash earlier this month after her announcement that her daytime talk show would return for season four amid the WGA strikes, but without WGA writers.

A week after that controversial announcement, Barrymore apologized publicly and announced that she was going to pause the return of the show amid the outcry.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” the host wrote as a caption next to a picture of the same message, which she shared on Sept. 17.

“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,” she continued. “We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”

In a statement to ET, a spokesperson from CBS Media Ventures, which produces The Drew Barrymore Show, read: “We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her.”

However, on Sunday, the WGA struck a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to end the strike.

While the deal still has to be drafted and faces several votes by WGA officials and members, it’s expected by many that the deal will be ratified and finalized in the next few weeks. Until then, the strike is not officially over, but the WGA has suspended picketing efforts and protests.

[From ET Online]

So Celebitchy and Kaiser got into Drew on Monday’s podcast #159, and now I’m gonna wade in. (Also, please consider that your *spoiler alert* in case you’ve been waiting to listen.) On the Drew Barrymore spectrum, I probably self-identify as not a full-on hater, but I definitely find her relentlessly twee, loosey-goosey persona grating. Maybe I’m not giving her enough credit, maybe I’m taking her at her flower-child-like image too much. But to me the real people to be angry with now are her PR team and managers. Where were they?!! I hold them responsible for letting those Instagram videos see the light of day. For every one celebrity there should be ten wranglers to intervene and save the star from themselves. That’s basic celebrity math.

There is still a way for Drew to come back with the show and address everything that’s gone down. But it would have to be done in exactly the right way, like having the two audience members that were kicked out come on as guests, and having her union writers speak as well. And judging by what we’ve seen coming out of her camp on this issue… let’s just say they have not been nailing the tone. But maybe someday in the future we will forget this dark era for Drew.

Photos via Instagram

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29 Responses to “Drew Barrymore’s show may return in October, but the damage is already done”

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  1. Slush says:

    I wonder if it’s possible that the very severe blow back onto Drew gave the writers some leverage here? Maybe their CEOs saw how little the public was in their side and they lit a fire under them to get a deal done.

    • Concern Fae says:

      This. I think they pushed Drew hard and made some threats, figuring she was popular enough that people would take her side. When they saw even Drew’s incredibly loyal audience wouldn’t stand by her against the union, the writing was on the wall.

      Knowing Drew types in my life, this whole thing doesn’t surprise me. There is such a deep need for everyone to be happy that it can drive really bad decision making.

      So much talk about the beauty aspects of fairytales, but not enough about the dangers of “and she was loved by all.” Nobody is loved by all. Nobody.

      • Truthiness says:

        I agree with Concern Fae, I think she was pushed hard, threatened. The damage is done though. You can’t scab.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    She centered herself in the decision to return, so she became the face of the opposition. It was an unforced error. Just let CBS make the announcement and everyone else thinks you had to do it—maybe feel a little bad for you but certainly do not villainize you. They still picket your show, but they don’t specifically use you—the—person—as their call to arms. Then she doubles down, insults and otherizes her potential audience (via show security—but she made herself the face of the strike, so it’s on her), and finally has to tearfully (but not visually) backtrack. Every move was the opposite of smart. She has a lot of groveling to do to get back in the good graces of those in her field.

    Now Bill Maher? He’s a known contrarian and asshole and probably relished the negative attention. Drew so wants to be liked and inoffensive, and in her attempts to be so, achieved the exact opposite.

    • ML says:

      Yes, exactly: don’t play against your type. If you’re known for being kind and empathetic, don’t double down on behaving cruelly. Especially when the strikers have the public’s sympathy. That’s exactly why DB has been damaged by this and BM, an a-hole, has not.

  3. Brassy Rebel says:

    I think it’s in the genes. I read a very interesting story a couple of weeks back about how her great aunt Ethel Barrymore single handedly blew up an attempt to organize screen actors under the stage actors union Actors Equity (which Ethel helped found!) back in the early thirties. A few years later Hollywood actors did organize themselves in the Screen Actors Guild (apparently keeping Ethel away from the proceedings). So Drew’s behavior here may just be something in her DNA.

  4. Raven says:

    I don’t think having the writers as a guess on her show is a good idea. You don’t get to harm people and what they are fighting for, and then use them to fix your image.

    When people show you who they are, believe them. Drew showed us and the writers who she is.

    I think PR teams have been on vacation because why has every celebrity that’s had scandals these last couple of months been so poorly handled.

    • Steph says:

      @Raven someone on Twitter said they think PR people in striking on the low too bc of all these messes. Between Drew, Joe Jonas, and Jonathan Majors (they probably don’t follow BRF) it’s been messy af.

      • Raven says:

        While I think PR teams get paid a lot of money I can buy that PR teams are on strike on the down low because if their not then what is happening.

        To add to the list of PR messes :

        Ariana Grande, Taylor, Swift, Ashton Kutcher/ Mila Kunis, Oprah, The Rock, Stephen Amell , Jennifer Aniston

      • Steph says:

        What happened with Oprah? I only saw something brief about Cindy Crawford. Is this blowing up?

        But yeah, it’s gotten so messy out there.

        This was in reply to @raven. Your comment seems to have disappeared.

  5. Scorpiomoon says:

    I think Drew gets a lot of grace because of her bad childhood and the way she “turned it around,” but I’ve never really bought it personally.

    She’s an industry shill to the max and she always has been. Maybe it’s because Spielberg is her godfather and she’s been in the business for over 40 years, but she’s always been protected and embraced by the Hollywood machine. I’m not shocked she tried to scab during the strike; I think the real Drew is probably a lot more establishment than her cute and bubbly persona suggests, and she tried to bring the show back because her allegiance is fully with the Hollywood machine—not the writers/etc.

    She deserves the bad press she’s getting for this. Doubt it’ll make the public fully turn on her, but would not be shocked if that show ends up canceled within the next year. She should have stayed out of it.

  6. Steph says:

    I think I’m the only one who feels bad for Drew. I think she made the completely wrong decision to try to bring her down back during the strike but I don’t believe the decision was made with malice or even selfishness. Someone said upthread that she should have her union writers on as guests to let them say their piece. I agree. There needs to be repercussions but hopefully she learns and grows. I don’t want her career to be ruined.

    • Raven says:

      I don’t think Drew or any of the scabs get to use the union writers to fix their image.

      • Steph says:

        I hear what you’re saying but I also think as a talk show host, she is in a really good position to platform the writers voices. They could go on and say fu Drew but still be able to go into detail about the strike and why it was so important for them. The writers aren’t famous live the actors so I haven’t really heard from them directly.

    • Chay says:

      You are asking much from this flower child, considering the rain of crap that she took. I think she will lay low from social media on this topic, put her head down and get back to work as though nothing changed.

  7. Lola says:

    Internet: practice self compassion and self forgiveness. Realize you can learn and grow

    Also internet: BURN THEM!

  8. Sasha says:

    “For every one celebrity there should be ten wranglers to intervene and save the star from themselves. That’s basic celebrity math.”

    Hahaha, love this celebrity math. It’s true. I don’t know why but so many celebrities burn through the public’s good will with asshole antics like this. It’s like they believe they’re America’s forever sweetheart and they can do anything they want without repercussions. They need normal people as handlers to stop them making complete asses of themselves.

  9. Twin Falls says:

    Would the strike have ended so soon if Drew hadn’t epically stepped in it and revealed the public’s loyalty to the striking writers and actors? We’ll never know.

    I don’t watch talk shows so it’s not like she’s losing me one way or the other but I’m less of a fan than I was before.

  10. Steph says:

    What happened with Oprah? I only saw something brief about Cindy Crawford. Is this blowing up?

    But yeah, it’s gotten so messy out there.

    This was in reply to @raven. Your comment seems to have disappeared.

  11. jilly says:

    The misogyny to this is incredible. Bill Mahr also said he was coming back with his show regardless then back peddled and no one is going hard after him. For Drew: “The damage is already done?” She may be “twee” but she made a mistake and rectified it. Now, lets talk about Bill Mahr and all the inapropriate baggage he carries.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      It’s not misogynistic to point out Drew’s reputation of being all twee and love and light and fairy goodness was in sharp conflict of her siding with the corporations who wanted to force the writers into homelessness.

      Meanwhile, Bill is, and has always been, a complete asshole and shill for the Powers That Be so he was just being himself when he announced his scabbiness. The only reason he backed down is because he caught a lot of flak over this decision. I imagine he also got a very special phone call or two from the power players in the strike. Regardless, no one was surprised he wanted to scab because everyone knows he’s an asshole.

      The reason Drew is catching heat is due to her hypocrisy, not because she is a woman.

      Also, this will blow over for Drew. She is beloved in Hollywood and they will bend over backwards to keep loving her. She’ll be fine.

    • Twin Falls says:

      Bill Mahr is and always will be a self important blowhard I expect to be generally on the wrong side of history.

      Drew Barrymore was someone I thought picked up spiders and put them outside while running many successful business ventures not someone who’d cross a picket line and then act confused why it was a problem.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Jilly, I see it in a very different light. The Barrymores are a famous acting family. Drew had a messed-up childhood. She ultimately went through YEARS of therapy and started getting her act together. The decision she made to go forward with her show without WGA writers, IMO, is Drew showing us the people who were/are important in her life, and who she is. She made that decision jointly with the network. She’s not a stupid woman. She owns and runs many successful businesses. You cannot do that without the ability to make decisions. I think she’s a nice enough person, but I would not, personally, say that what you see on her show is who she is. She’s got a good business mind. She made a decision assuming some facts (e.g., her fan base would agree with her) and then she had discovered she was wrong. She course corrected, but that doesn’t make the bad decision she made go away. No, I won’t be giving her a pass.

  12. maisie says:


  13. Ihatepeiple says:

    I dunno. If Chris Brown can have a career so can Drew. She will be fine. I mean, I don’t watch her crap but everyone will forget.

  14. Flamingo says:

    I appreciate the gossip drama spin. But it’s a hiccup for her and she will be all gushy and lovey on her first return show. If she was smart she should have Fran Drescher on and they can hash out her thinking and the bigger picture with Fran and what the end of the strike means.

    • wellyaknow says:

      Call her agent! Great idea. She needs to come back strong and humble at the same time. I was such a huge fan of hers but her gaslighting bs “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Acting like there is nothing she can do about it while doing the WORST thing you can do about it.