Fran Drescher Addresses SAG-AFTRA Picketers In New York: “AMPTP’s Maniacal Corporate Culture For Greed Must Stop”

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher again took aim at the heads of the film and television conglomerates, calling them “greed-driven and disrespectful” and their corporate culture “maniacal” in remarks Tuesday at a rally outside New York City Hall. 

A self-described “New Yorker, born and raised,” Drescher spoke ahead of a New York City Council hearing for resolutions backing the striking actors and writers and calling on the studios to return to negotiations with both of their unions. 

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On the the 19th day of the SAG-AFTRA strike and 92nd of the Writers Guild strike, Drescher reminisced about growing up in Flushing, Queens, and dreaming of a career in acting. 

“But I never imagined that the show business that was so romanticized in the old movies of the 1930s and ‘40s in 2023 would actually be led by such greed-driven and disrespectful people [toward] the performing artists,” Drescher said. Watch her speech below.

She repeated an oft-quoted statistic that 86 percent of SAG-AFTRA’s more than 160,000 members don’t meet the income threshold —  $26,500 a year — to qualify for union-paid healthcare coverage. 

“They are working people who simply want to pay their rent and put food on the table,” Drescher said. “My members want the same things for their children that these uber-wealthy CEOs want for theirs. 

“We will not stepped on or squeezed out of our livelihood so that they can look good for their shareholders,” she added, asking aloud why the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is “stonewalling” the unions.

“Are they hoping to break us?” Our resolve is strong. They will have to yield to our deal,” she said to cheers and applause from union leaders, City Council members and dozens of rank-and-file SAG-AFTRA members in attendance.

Drescher concluded her remarks by saying “that the AMPTP’s maniacal corporate culture for greed must stop. Industry profit and doing the right thing on behalf of workers does not have to be mutually exclusive, but go hand in hand as we define a new meaning for the word ‘success.’”

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