Drew Carey, Bob Barker

Bob Barker was not deliberately left out of The Price Is Right's 40th anniversary special, according to Drew Carey.

"I feel really bad about that," Carey tells TMZ. "It wasn't because of animosity or anything like that. ... It just didn't occur to anybody to invite him personally to be on the show because it was a salute to the contestants."

The special, which aired Tuesday, did feature Barker in several clips, but the 88-year-old, who hosted the show for 35 years, wasn't even invited to the taping.

Why wasn't Bob Barker invited to The Price is Right's 40th birthday bash?

Recently, Barker, a longtime animal activist, has criticized the series for giving away tickets to Calgary Stampede and SeaWorld, both of which he believes are notorious for animal abuse. Carey maintains that Barker's protests have nothing to do with the snub, claiming the entire situation was a big misunderstanding. "Nobody has anything against Bob Barker," he says.