Why Hollywood was really so quick to destroy Drew Barrymore.

Drew Barrymore is a rare breed of celebrity almost never associated with controversy.

Outgrowing her partying past years ago, Barrymore became one of the most beloved leading ladies in cult movies like The Wedding Singer and Never Been Kissed before sealing her status as everyone's parasocial best friend by launching her own daytime talk show in 2020. 

Since then, the only time Barrymore has entered the news cycle is for posting videos of herself prancing through the rain, or through memes about the actor's unconventional interview style. 

But this all changed last month when the Charlie's Angels producer became the most hated woman in Hollywood - and now, even with the issue technically sorted, she's dealing with the fallout.

Following the end of the Hollywood Writers Strike, many talk shows are returning to screens for the first time in months. 

The Drew Barrymore Show is itself set for an October 16 return - but it has an added complication. A trio of its head writers — Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon and Liz Koe — have all declined offers to return, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. As such, the production is currently interviewing for new writers.

White, Kinon and Koe were all vocal critics in September after the show, and Barrymore, announced The Drew Barrymore Show would be returning to screens, despite the Hollywood writers' strike not yet having reached a resolution.

"I am also 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," Barrymore's post began.


Read it below. Post continues after statement. 

Image: Instagram/@drewbarrymore. 

"We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind. We launched live in a global pandemic. Our show was built for sensitive times and has only functioned through what the real world is going through in real time," she wrote.

"I own this choice."

The actor didn't own the decision for very long. Within days, she had issued an apology video.  


"I believe there's nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK," she said in an Instagram video. "I wanted to own a decision so it wasn't a PR-protected situation and I would just take full responsibility for my actions … There are so many reasons why this is so complex and I just want everyone to know my intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anyone, that’s not who I am. I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life and this is one of them.

"I deeply apologise to writers, I deeply apologise to unions."

She continued, "I wanted to do this because, as I said, this is bigger than me, and there are other people's jobs on the line. And since launching live in a pandemic, I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in sensitive times, and I weighed the scales, and I thought if we could go on during a global pandemic and everything that the world has experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?"

Drew then confirmed the show would not go forward until the strike is over.

Image: Instagram/@drewbarrymore. 


Drew's backpedaling on her decision follows strikers labelling her a "scab", along with industry heads condemning her bringing the show back. 

At the live recording of the first episode back, Twitter user Dominic Turiczek said he was "kicked out" of The Drew Barrymore Show. 

"Went to @DrewBarrymoreTV after winning tickets, unaware of the #WGA strike. We took pins & went in, got kicked out, & verbally assaulted by @DrewBarrymore's crew. It's clear they don't support #WGAStrong, writers or fans!" Turiczek wrote.

Meanwhile, the show's co-head writer Cristina Kinon condemned the talk show's return. Speaking to The Daily Beast, Kinon said "We're standing with all of labour and all of the unions across the world, because that is how it works. Unions only work when you stick together with unions across the labour spectrum," she said. 

"It is frustrating, because it will prolong the strike, and we just want it to end."

"It is a bummer to hear that the show is going back because it sends a message that union writers are not valuable," White told The Hollywood Reporter at the time.


It was clear that Drew didn't have much support in Hollywood, even from her own team.

In response to Barrymore’s initial decision to return, the National Book Foundation rescinded her invitation to host the upcoming National Book Awards Ceremony. 

Barrymore's talk show was not the only show which was planning on returning. 

Barrymore's decision received massive media attention while several other talk shows also announced returns with comparatively minimal outrage. Real Time with Bill Maher, The Jennifer Hudson Show and The Talk all initially announced they would return, although all three have since rescinded this plan. 


But what set Drew apart was twofold.

Firstly, she had been vocal in the past about showing solidarity with unions.

In May, the actor stepped down as host of the MTV Film and TV Awards to honour the WGA strike.

"It had a direct conflict with what the strike was dealing with which was studios, streamers, film, and television," Barrymore wrote on Instagram. "It was also in the first week of the strike and so I did what I thought was the appropriate thing at the time to stand in solidarity with the writers."

And secondly, she's Drew Barrymore: America's sweetheart. 

Whether fair or not, Barrymore is held to a higher standard than most other (especially male) celebrities. 

She's built her brand around being a Good Person, as someone who is extremely empathetic, as someone who doesn't make thoughtless choices. When it comes to Hollywood stars, you don't get much more beloved than Drew Barrymore.

The pivot from 'saint' to 'scab' is not one that's easy to stomach - and it's one that her writers ultimately could not reconcile.

This article was originally published on September 21 and has been updated with new information.

Feature image: Getty + 20th Century Fox + New Line Cinema.