Fran Drescher, the former "Nanny" actress and president of SAG-AFTRA, spoke to PEOPLE about the recently announced Hollywood actors' strike.
When asked about the strike's duration, Drescher stated that it's impossible to predict as it has just begun. The strike was declared after negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers broke down following weeks of discussions.
The critical demands from SAG-AFTRA members include pay and residual increases, higher caps on pension and health contributions, and regulating artificial intelligence usage in the industry. The strike commenced on Friday, leading to a halt in production for most television series and films.
During the press conference, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union's national executive director and chief negotiator, joined Drescher and expressed confidence in their members' resolve. He asserted that the strike would end when the AMPTP was willing to negotiate fairly. Although he hoped for a quick resolution, he emphasized that the union members would remain united and steadfast, regardless of how long it took for the companies to return to the negotiating table.
During the press conference, Drescher passionately addressed the Hollywood executives, condemning their actions and labeling them greedy. She criticized the vast sums of money given to CEOs while claiming financial hardships, and she urged the industry to recognize the transformative impact of streaming, digital platforms, and AI. According to Drescher, this critical moment requires the industry to embrace new contract terms to secure a sustainable future for actors.
In response to the strike, the AMPTP expressed disappointment and claimed that SAG-AFTRA chose to walk away from negotiations. They cited their previous offer, which included historic pay and residual increases, enhanced pension and health contributions, audition protections, and groundbreaking proposals for protecting actors' digital likenesses through AI.
However, Crabtree-Ireland refuted these claims and asserted that the AMPTP could end the strike by meeting the union's demands. He stated that the AMPTP knows what is required for a fair deal and can resolve the situation by signing the necessary agreements.
In summary, the Hollywood actors' strike initiated by SAG-AFTRA has entered its early stages, and both parties remain steadfast in their positions. The strike's duration remains uncertain, but the union members are determined to stand united until a fair agreement is reached with the AMPTP.
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