After 118 days, SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios have agreed on a tentative deal to end the actors’ strike.
As Hollywood rejoices that business is back, many are praising SAG President Fran Drescher.
From the first day of the strike, Drescher took the work stoppage seriously and personally. KTLA 5’s Sam Rubin pointed out that the actress seemed offended by the initial treatment and offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
“I think that there was a time of reckoning and a recalibration of respect, and honoring and repositioning us as the center of the wheel, and the most significant contributor to the industry at large,” she explained to Sam. “I don’t want my members to feel like peons, but partners. That was a distinction that I was determined to make. It wasn’t something that came easily or quickly. I think that they were not prepared for me at all and they were in for a rude awakening.”
One thing to note, Drescher’s position as president is purely voluntary.
While she had a plush toy in tow during the negotiations, “The Nanny” star proved to be a modern-day labor hero. She said she worked to represent every person within SAG even though there was some division within the union itself.
“We really ignited a worker’s movement around the world. It really was for us about the journeyman, about the lowest paid background person, everybody mattered,” she said. “I brought in experts to represent every community in this contract. They were with us every step of the way. So everybody in the negotiating committee who I hand-picked, some people I really had to fight for, because I entered into a world of great dysfunction and division and partisanship in this union. It took me all of the time that I was president, to get people to come around to realize that I had zero bias towards anyone. I didn’t care what party they aligned themselves with.”
Dubbed the “Fran Plan,” Drescher credited time and patience as “the secret sauce” for being able to pass this historic agreement.
Regardless of what it took, Drescher is “over the moon” that the work stoppage has ended.
“I am so proud that we did what we set out to do. This is a historic contract at a seminal moment,” she exclaimed. “It needed to happen and we did it! We played every card well. Whatever was thrown at us, we turned it around into a positive.”
However, the journey to come to an agreement wasn’t an easy one.
“The weight of it all, the responsibility of it all, was heavy on us all. By the end, it was hard. It was hard on our families. It was hard on our bodies. We were losing sleep. There was a lot of crying and yelling and trying to come to some kind of solution to things.”
Despite all the hardships, she touted the diverse group of union members who came together and made the sacrifices to get this deal done.
“I’ve never been in the vortex of anything quite like this. It’s something that I will never forget. I’ll take it to my grave,” she said gratefully.