LOS ANGELES — No one knows exactly how long the actors union will strike, but its president, Fran Drescher, says they’re looking at the long term.
“Right now we’ve been discussing what it would cost if it lasted for six months, so we’re looking for the long term,” says Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA and star of the hit ’90s sitcom ‘The Nanny.’ “The gravity of a commitment like this is not lost on any of us. It is major. But we also see that we have no future and no means of livelihood unless we take this measurement, unfortunately.
During the strike, the members will not have much work and pay than they would have otherwise.
Drescher said more than 90% of the union voted to authorize the strike and told USA TODAY the cast is willing to make personal sacrifices for the greater good.
At a spirited press conference at the union’s office in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, she gave an impassioned speech announcing the actors’ union’s decision to strike starting Friday, following a stalemate in the negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an organization representing major studios and streamers.
During the conference, Drescher raised her voice while voicing the union’s concerns in front of a room full of reporters and cameras and delivered lines that she reveals to USA TODAY deviated from the script that she was given. had been given.
“There’s always something written by comms when you’re union president,” Dresser said hours after the conference. “I very rarely refer to it, because I feel like what I bring to the party is authenticity and sincerity, and that’s what I always want to bring to the public in my messages, so that he can feel what it’s about and why it’s so important, not just for us, but for workers around the world. So I felt pumped in my ability to express everything, coming from my heart more than from my head.
Issues on the table, she says, include actor salaries in an industry where standards have been upended in recent years by streaming as well as the potential use of artificial intelligence to replace actors’ labor. The SAG-AFTRA strike, combined with the ongoing writers’ or WGA strike, is creating a work stoppage that is expected to shut down most film and television productions around the world.
The AMPTP responded to SAG-AFTRA’s decision to strike in a press release on Thursday.
“AMPTP member companies have entered into negotiations with SAG-AFTRA with the aim of forging a new mutually beneficial contract,” the organization said. “The AMPTP presented an agreement that offered historic salary and residual increases, significantly higher caps on pension and health contributions, hearing protections, shortened series option periods and a groundbreaking proposal A strike is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for because studios cannot function without the artists who bring our TV shows and movies to life.”
In his speech, Drescher called the AMPTP “a very greedy entity” that “systematically tries to find ways to get us out of what is owed to us.”
She tells USA TODAY that the reasons for the SAG-AFTRA strike impact all workers, especially the threat of AI replacing human employees.
“The eyes of labor are on us,” she says. “It’s very important that everyone understands that we’re not just standing up for ourselves, but we’re standing up for everyone, because it’s a slippery slope into a very dangerous time, and a real dystopia if the big corporations, corporations, think they can put human beings out of work and replace them with artificial intelligence. It’s dangerous, and it’s without thought or conscience or concern.
Hollywood actors on strike: “It’s a moment of history,” says Fran Drescher, head of SAG
She adds: “They (the AMPTP) know what we need, and they have to have the courage to go to their board member and say, ‘We are partners with these people. We can “Don’t keep trying to squeeze them out of their livelihood. This is the wrong approach.” And, unfortunately, power concedes nothing without asking. It never has and never will.”
Drescher hopes the AMPTP will reconsider its position and respond to SAG-AFTRA’s demands.
“I hope the AMPTP will think better about blocking them, and we will meet them anytime, any day,” she said. “The ball is in their court.”
More: Matt Damon, Jamie Lee Curtis and More Stars Share Their Thoughts on the Actors’ Strike
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fran Drescher says SAG-AFTRA is looking ‘long term’ with strike