SAG President Fran Drescher Provides Update Amid Looming Actors’ Strike

Last month, the SAG-AFTRA national board unanimously agreed to send an authorization vote to members with the recommendation that members vote to authorize a strike should one be necessary during the upcoming labor negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Earlier this month, the members voted, with 97.91 percent of SAG-AFTRA members in favor of a strike authorization ahead of negotiations of the TV/theatrical contracts with nearly 65,000 members casting ballots for a voting percentage of 47.69 percent of eligible voters. The union represents roughly 160,000 people, including film and television actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors, internet influencers, and other media professionals. The current deal between the union and the AMPTP expires tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Speaking with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, SAG President Fran Drescher told the host that there are some promising signs in the ongoing negotiation with producers. She said that there are still a number of issues where they aren’t especially close together, though, and obviously time is running out.

“We do have unprecedented support from the union members where, if we feel like we’re not making headway when the contract expires, which is June 30th at 11:59 p.m., we’re gonna have to strike,” Drescher said.

“You know, in some areas we are, and in some areas we’re not,” Drescher added. “So we just have to see. I mean, in earnest, it would be great if we can walk away with a deal that we want. And at the end of the day, you know, we’re living in a time that’s very different from the last few decades when the foundation of the contract was forged. It’s the digital age now and the age of streaming, and it’s a whole different business model. So it really begs that we stand firm and hold strong and do right by the members in this industry and honor the massive contribution that they make. So I’m really in it to win it on behalf of our 180,000 members. And we stand by the Writers Guild, too.”

The Writers Guild has been on strike since early May. During that time, the Director’s Guild struck a deal, but the Screen Actor’s Guild seems to be having more trouble coming to a satisfactory deal with management.