Fran Drescher In Hot Water Right Before Actors Strike

Fran Drescher was seen at a Dolce & Gabbana in Italy when many felt like she should be negotiating for SAG.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

fran drescher
Fran Drescher

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher is facing backlash after taking a trip to Italy on July 9 for a Dolce & Gabbana promotional event during a critical phase of the union’s contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The uproar began after Kim Kardashian, who was also in attendance, shared a photo of the pair on her Instagram account.

Fran Drescher was caught attending a fashion show with Kim Kardashian instead of negotiating a new SAG-AFTRA contract.

The carefree image immediately generated strong reactions from actors, writers, and other members of Hollywood’s creative community who are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the ongoing contract negotiations. If a new three-year agreement is not reached by July 12, SAG-AFTRA will initiate its first industry-wide strike since 1980.

You can see the Instagram post from Kim Kardashian below:

Unlike other elected union Presidents, Fran Drescher holds the additional role of chairing SAG-AFTRA’s contract negotiating committee. She has collaborated closely with Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the national executive director and chief negotiator of SAG-AFTRA, in strategizing the agenda and outlining the union’s demands.

However, according to ComicBook, a representative for SAG-AFTRA says Fran Drescher’s visit to Italy was connected to her work as a brand ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana. The negotiating committee knew about her trip, and Drescher participated in discussions remotely. “President Drescher is working as a brand ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana on location in Italy,” the statement said.

“This was a commitment fully known to the negotiating committee. She has been in negotiations every day, either in person or via videoconference. President Drescher is managing a physically demanding schedule across three time zones, overseeing negotiations, working on location daily, and managing her parents’ needs in [Florida],” the statement continued.

Some have openly criticized her for the optics of attending a luxurious event while the union is fighting for fundamental employee rights.

Still, her outing has been greatly frowned upon by several Hollywood insiders. Some have openly criticized her for the optics of attending a luxurious event while the union is fighting for fundamental employee rights. Others have slammed her association with Kardashian, who recently came under fire for allegedly crossing WGA picket lines in New York to film a role in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story.

Fran Drescher’s association with Dolce & Gabbana can be traced back to her time on the television series The Nanny, which aired from 1993 to 1999. Her character, Fran Fine, frequently donned various ensembles from the fashion house. With the show gaining renewed popularity on streaming platforms, the actress has been hailed as a fashion icon and an “OG influencer.”

Fran Drescher Is At The Forefront Of Hollywood’s Labor Issues

Fran Drescher reportedly returned to Los Angeles on July 11 to resume negotiations with AMPTP. Meanwhile, actors have already begun strike preparations, creating picket signs, ordering t-shirts, and organizing captains’ and coordinators’ rosters. Although SAG-AFTRA has yet to officially reach out to the WGA for logistical coordination, several members have expressed their willingness to help.

If negotiations fail, the writers and actors are expected to join forces at existing picket locations. SAG-AFTRA actors, who overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike with a 98% majority, are expected to hit the streets on July 13. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike for 70 days, resulting in the disruption of numerous film and television productions.

Among the labor organizations involved in recent negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the only one to have reached an agreement so far is the Director’s Guild (DGA). The DGA ratified their new agreement at the end of June. It remains to be seen if Fran Drescher’s trip to Italy will negatively impact her position as SAG-AFTRA President.