In her two years as SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher has worked assiduously to bridge the factional divides that have long beset the union. “Member unity will be my greatest legacy,” she promised in her campaign statement this summer, and she sought reelection. (She was reelected with more than 80% of the vote.) But as the SAG-AFTRA strike nears the 100-day mark, Drescher is facing her most challenging leadership test so far: Can she hold the union together long enough to deliver the “seminal” deal she has promised members?
SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher made an appearance on NBC’s Today Friday morning to share her perspective on why the union’s talks with the AMPTP broke down. “It really came as a shock to me because what does that exactly mean and why would you walk away from the table? It’s not like we’re asking for anything that’s so outrageous,” Drescher said. “It’s so wrong. And it’s so unfair that they walked out of the meeting, and so disrespectful … I mean, they talk at you. They really don’t want to hear what you have to say or why you’re saying it.”
Two challengers in the SAG-AFTRA election are urging the union to bring in an outside mediator to help resolve the actors strike, which has gone on for nearly two months. Maya Gilbert-Dunbar, who is running against Fran Drescher for president of the union, argued that guild leadership has been too passive, and needs to show more urgency in restarting talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. “Chain your asses up to the damn door of the Sherman Oaks building to show how serious you are,” Gilbert-Dunbar said. “People’s can’t afford this. Strikes were never meant to last months and months. An effective strike should be short and sweet.”
SAG-AFTRA president says “insatiable appetite for money” at studios contributed to strike in new interview.
“At some point you have to say no more,” Drescher, the former Nanny star who is now president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said in an interview at the union’s headquarters Wednesday. “I think that it’s taken on a bigger scope, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. I think it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business, and how it treats everybody up and down the ladder in the name of profit.”
“I feel like I’m being called on the hero’s journey,’ said the actors union president and The Nanny star.
Fran Drescher boarded the bus and has landed at her first picket line on the first day of the actors strike. The Nanny star was mobbed outside of Netflix’s Hollywood HQ after giving a rousing speech in defense of actors after talks collapsed with the AMPTP.
”The gains we achieved in this contract are historic,“ guild President Fran Drescher says in statement.