Fran Drescher: ‘it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business’

The Venice Film Festival begins tomorrow, followed closely by Telluride and then Toronto. I’ve waxed poetic before about the impeccable conduct of actors and union leaders during the strike, and now that Tepid Film Festival Fall™ is officially underway, I am very eager to see the next phase play out. I feel like the tone may be about to shift, given that there’s so much business involved with the festivals. This may be why we saw SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher record a composed, if somewhat sober interview last week. Once again she emphasized that the writers and actors strikes are about all workers, not just Hollywood. A few choice quotes:

No more: “At some point you have to say no more,” Drescher, the former “Nanny” star who is now president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said in an interview at the union’s headquarters Wednesday. “I think that it’s taken on a bigger scope, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. I think it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business, and how it treats everybody up and down the ladder in the name of profit.”

Her barn-burner speech wasn’t scripted: Drescher told the AP that she had no intention of getting on a soap box that day. She was supposed to read a written statement, then take questions. “I looked at it quickly and I said, ‘You know what, I can’t say this, I really feel like I have to speak from the heart,’” she said. “That just kind of came out of my mouth, and I’m glad that I was able to express myself as succinctly and sincerely and authentically as I did. And I think that it’s fascinating when you speak from the heart, people are so responsive. Because I guess they see a lot of people that don’t.”

On success with The Nanny in the 90s: “I’m very grateful that I got my big break during that time and not this time,” Drescher said. “When I started on ‘The Nanny’ at CBS, that was still a family owned business. You knew who the owners were and you could talk to them. And everything has changed… Now, when you have a business model where the CEOs are more connected to the shareholders and not to the people that actually make the product that they’re selling,” she said. “I think that you have a breakdown that is unsustainable.”

An inflection point: “I’m not really understanding what the silent treatment is,” Drescher said. “It could be a tactical strategy to see if they can wait us out until we lose our resolve and then they can make a better deal for themselves.” Drescher said nothing like that is going to happen. “This is an inflection point,” she said. “I don’t think anybody that’s in charge of the AMPTP quite understands that. This is not like any past negotiation. We’re in a whole new ball game. And if things don’t change radically, quite frankly, I think that they’re going to ultimately get very hurt by this strike.”

[From AP News]

BOOM, mic drop. If you watch the video of the interview, you see she’s very calm throughout. It’s like the polar opposite to her now infamous speech from July. Again, I think this new composure is all about a new phase of the strike. She’s reined in the emotions to talk business with the business boys. And I have to say, I just love the way she ends it with faux concern about how AMPTP is about to have their asses handed to them. “Guys, I’m really worried about you. You don’t seem to realize how much trouble you’re in. Call me!”

Completely random anecdote: when I was a sophomore in high school I’d come home in the afternoon, turn on the tv to Nanny reruns, and settle in to do the eleventy-one geometry problems I had for homework that night—and I passed!!! If Nanny Fine could get me through Euclidean geometry, I trust her to get the actors through this strike.

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14 Responses to “Fran Drescher: ‘it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business’”

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  1. teehee says:

    This is describing any big business today. They all are more concerned about their share value and their investors, just endlessly, though– if you do good one year, its not good anymore the next- and it just is all spiraling constantly to more ridiculous proportions.

    We are always promised a better life by more technology and more production, but really all we get is “more time for working faster and longer” to continue that profitable innovation- we dont get much of anything for what we are all creating today. We cant even afford a basic home and family anymore, which is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM we can be asking for, given all that we have helped to make possible.
    We dont have a place to sleep?
    We cant raise kids decently?

    What the f*** is this…

    • Deering24 says:

      I can never understand why these so-called business geniuses don’t realize this “grind the peons down forever and they’ll suck it up” philosophy is unsustainable–always has been, always will be. (But then, they regard history as one of those “useless” liberal arts courses. All they probably know about the French Revolution is that it was something about cake. 🙄) If you give people no stake in the system, they have no reason to keep supporting it. I guess one of history’s ongoing lessons is that the rich and powerful will always have to FAFO the hard way.

  2. ⁷Tree says:

    It’s a scary time for Hollywood but the actors and writers have to take a stand. Like I wrote about Stephen amell- the arrow actor. It would be easy for arrow/Warner bros to take his footage, mixed with outtakes, and create new content. He would only get residuals from that. They could do that for years. Once that wears out they could simply create new movements with AI. They would try to not pay him at all for that.

  3. Torttu says:

    Go, Fran! She has been amazing.

  4. Jais says:

    The AMPTP is going to lose this stalemate. The unions are not going to break on this.

  5. Gizmo’sMa says:

    Obviously the AMPTP has the corporations making the decisions. Once the corporations start losing money and are worse off than before they will come to the table. And not a day sooner. So the actors and writers know they are in it for the long haul.

  6. JM says:

    I grew up with her on The Nanny. It’s so awesome to see her going to bat for everyone like this!

  7. Grant says:

    Nanny Fine is kind of amazing, isn’t she? I know she’s been problematic with vaccination misinformation in the past but I suppose we take what we can get!

  8. Renee' says:

    Go Fran and Sag-Aftra! I am so sick of the unconscionable behavior and attitude of the heads of the studios/streamers and big corporations. I get that they have shareholders they are beholden to and the primary goal is profit. Of course! But there is a different in profit and greed. Greed has taken over.

  9. Ivan says:

    Write on! I think in the current anti-union climate we live in , its more important than ever for us to support them. Without unions, the working class would be in much worse shape.

  10. bisynaptic says: