Fran Drescher Lambastes Hollywood Execs In Fiery Strike Announcement: ‘Shame On Them’

The “Nanny” star and SAG-AFTRA president gave an impassioned speech as the union representing roughly 160,000 Hollywood performers voted to strike.

Fran Drescher, the Screen Actors Guild president, lit into studio executives on Thursday as the union representing some 160,000 Hollywood performers voted to strike in response to failed negotiations.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to reach an agreement with the guild, known as SAG-AFTRA, despite the union extending negotiations two weeks past their contract expiration on June 30. The Screen Actors Guild’s members have been fighting for equitable wages and working conditions.

The SAG-AFTRA’s national board agreed to the union negotiating committee’s unanimous recommendation to strike on Thursday. The strike is expected to begin at midnight and involve union members, leadership and staff.

“We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity,” the iconic TV star said in a blistering speech amid the strike announcement. “I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us. I cannot believe it, quite frankly, how far apart we are on so many things.”

Drescher continued: “How they plead poverty that they’re losing money left and right while giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It is disgusting. Shame on them. They stand on the wrong side of history at this very moment.”

Drescher, known for her memorable role in the ’90s sitcom “The Nanny,” referred to executives from Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros ― all major studios represented by AMPTP. Specifically, Disney CEO Bob Iger found himself in hot water on Thursday for saying the demands of the Hollywood writers and performers were “disruptive” and “not realistic,” while the executive’s salary amounts to up to $27 million a year.

“The entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, A.I.,” Drescher said. “This is a moment of history. This is a moment of truth. If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in trouble. We are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines and big business who cares more about Wall Street than you and your family.”

SAG-AFTRA members will join their colleagues in the Writers Guild of America, who have been on strike since May after their contract negotiations with the AMPTP also fell through. Like SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood writers are also sounding the alarm about technology that could be used to replace or further exploit them.

“We stand solidly behind our union siblings in SAG-AFTRA as they begin their work stoppage,” WGA said in a statement to its members. “The last time both of our unions struck at the same time, actors and writers won landmark provisions that we all continue to benefit from today ― residuals and pension and health funds.”

Drescher also said Thursday that SAG-AFTRA stands in “unprecedented unity” with its sister guilds, as well as other unions leading the current labor movement.

“Because at some point, the jig is up,” she said. “You cannot keep being dwindled and marginalized and disrespected and dishonored.”

Popular in the Community


What's Hot