In an emotional video shared to social media, she apologized for the controversial choice, adding, "I believe there's nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK."
"I wanted to own a decision so it wasn't a PR-protected situation and I would just take full responsibility for my actions," the 48-year-old said in the video shared to Instagram Sept. 15. "I know there is just nothing I can do that will make this OK to those that it is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that."
Barrymore, whose eponymous daytime series will return for season four on Sept. 18, continued, "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 anymore," she said. "It's not who I am. I've been through so many ups and downs in my life, and this is one of them."
She then directed a message to WGA, who began their strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in May after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract. (The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which Barrymore is a part of, joined SAG on the picket line in July after being unable to reach their agreement on their own contract with AMPTP.)
"I deeply apologize to writers," she expressed. "I deeply apologize to unions."
As for the "huge question of the why," the Charlie's Angels alum explained that her show represented things beyond her name.
"I certainly couldn't have expected this kind of attention, and we aren't going to break rules and we will be in compliance," she said. "I wanted to do this, because as I said, this is bigger than me and there are other people's jobs on the line."
Moreover, Barrymore said she wanted to make the show, which launched in height of the COVID-19 pandemic, be "there for people in sensitive times."
"I weighed the scales and I thought if we could go on during a global pandemic, and everything that the world experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?" she explained. "So I want to just put one foot in front of the other and make a show that's there for people regardless of anything else that's happening in the world because that's when I think we all need something that wants to be there being very realistic in very realistic times. So that is my why."
Barrymore emphasized that she's taking sole responsibility for the show's return—even amid backlash.
"I don't exactly know what to say because sometimes when things are so tough, it's hard to make decisions from that place," she added. "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. 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 first addressed her show's return in an Instagram statement Sept. 10. "I want to be there to provide what writers do so well, which is a way to bring us together or help us make sense of the human experience," she wrote. "I hope for a resolve for everyone as soon as possible. We have navigated difficult times since we first came on air. And so I take a step forward to start season 4 once again with an astute humility."
In response, WGA criticized the decision, calling Barrymore's talk show a "WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers."
"The Guild has, and will continue to, picket struck shows that are in production during the strike," their Sept. 10 statement shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, read. "Any writing on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show' is in violation of WGA strike rules.