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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Evan Rosen

Fran Drescher says SAG was ‘manipulated’ before strike: ‘Studios just wanted more time to promote summer movies’

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher claimed studio execs unfairly “manipulated” SAG actors during their negotiations, in a recent interview that came just days after the actress went viral for her impassioned announcement of their strike.

The Screen Actors Guild authorized the move on July 13, after their contract expired with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and negotiations broke down, mirroring the ongoing WGA strike initiated months earlier.

Drescher spoke of giving the AMPTP an “unprecendented” 12-day extension during negotiations to come back with a more “meaningful” proposal.

“During that time, they canceled our negotiation meetings,” she told Variety this week. “I thought, maybe they’re duking it out behind closed doors, maybe they’re gonna come back with something that we can really start to roll up our sleeves.”

“[But] they just wanted to get more time to promote their summer movies and they had no intention of using that extension for anything else,” Drescher added.

She also touched on how some in the general public might have a misconception about the new actors’ strike.

“Tom Cruise and top people make their own deals. That’s not who we are striking for. We’re striking for the journeyman,” she said.

As tensions continue to mount in the ongoing strikes, Drescher seems to be confident in her ability to lead her union.

“I really feel like this is my calling ... and I’m going to meet this moment,” she said.

Some online have also noted an old clip from “The Nanny” in which, even back then, Drescher was supporting unions on strike.

The former star of the ‘90s TV sitcom was elected president of SAG-AFTRA in 2021, after pivoting to a side-career in diplomacy.

In 2015, Drescher lobbied and passed a bill in Washington called Johanna’s Law, which promotes the education of women on gynecological cancer.

She also served as a public diplomacy envoy in the second Bush administration, and has been sent on the behalf of the U.S. State Department to allied nations and military around the globe.

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