After successfully navigating the absolute minefield of the past four months as president of SAG-AFTRA, former The Nanny lead, Fran Drescher has shared some harsh truths for those who have critiqued the latest union contract, according to a report in Variety.
Fran Drescher Led The Union In The Strikes
Drescher famously led the performers’ union through the tumultuous 118-day-long work stoppage, resulting in the finalized contract between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP last Thursday.
While most actors were elated to return to work with a newfound sense of security and provisions that ensured the future of their career path, others weren’t pleased with the contract, prompting Drescher’s harsh words.
Fran Drescher Pushes Back Against Naysayers
While attending a union-wide Zoom meeting for the actors union, president Fran Drescher elucidated on the success of the new contract from her Malibu home.
According to Drescher, those arguing that the new contract’s terms are not a giant leap in the right direction for the future of filmmaking are simply contrarians and naysayers.
They are seeking to undercut the stunning work of the many union representatives responsible for holding the longest-running picket line in the union’s history.
After union leaders unanimously agreed to the deal brokered between negotiators and AMPTP executives, and an 86 percent vote to ratify from the national board, it seems that a vast majority of actors would agree with Drescher in this regard.
160,000 SAG-AFTRA Members
Of course, you cannot please everyone, as over 160,000 actors are represented by the SAG-AFTRA union, totaling massive swaths of political ideologies and differing points of view.
To that end, Fran Drescher has agreed to field thousands of questions regarding the updated contract and the future of the industry while walking union members through the complex process over a number of Zoom meetings.
Drescher implored those who seek to tear down the new deal to tune in and carefully comb through the provided information, assuring her constituents that the latest contract is the best possible outcome.
Justine Bateman Response?
While Fran Drescher refused to name any names, most insiders seem to agree that the Nanny alumni must have been referring to comments made by former Family Ties star Justine Bateman.
Since the news of the strike’s ultimate conclusion this past week, Bateman has taken to X (formerly Twitter) to express dissatisfaction with the latest contract, specifically in regard to certain protections against artificial intelligence.
While union heads specifically held off from agreeing to any contract that didn’t provide AI provisions, Bateman claims those present in the final document don’t do enough to protect actors from being scanned to make digital replicas.
Despite Justine Bateman’s concerns, both Fran Drescher and SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland have defended the current contract’s AI provisions.
While there is no telling exactly what the long-term effects of this contract will bring, the contractual details regarding artificial intelligence in film and television are the first of their kind, serving as a significant jumping-off point for future contract negotiation, while allowing striking performers to get back to work.
New Contract Timeline
Beyond the AI provisions outlined in the current contract, Fran Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland worked tirelessly to bring other positive benefits to union actors, including a seven percent minimum pay raise, and a host of new and improved benefits packages.
The new contract will remain in place until renewal talks begin for the June 30, 2026 expiry, meaning actors and studios have just under 3 years to determine if the long-term impact of this contract is right for them.