‘The Nanny’ star Fran Drescher to run for president of SAG-AFTRA as veteran leader ends term
Actor Fran Drescher of the “The Nanny” is running for the presidency of Hollywood’s largest union.
Drescher announced Friday she would seek to become the next leader of SAG-AFTRA after longtime leader Gabrielle Carteris said she would not run for reelection this fall.
The “Beverly Hills 90210” star told SAG-AFTRA members this week that she would not seek a third term and declared her support for Drescher and running mate Anthony Rapp, a veteran TV, film and theater actor who is running for national secretary-treasurer.
“I am so pleased to have served the members of SAG-AFTRA for the last five and a half years and it is with joy and humility that I pass the baton to a new team of experienced and dedicated leaders who will guide the union into the future,” Carteris said in a statement. “With Fran Drescher at the helm, I know our union and our membership are in great hands.”
Carteris’ announcement follows National Executive Director David White’s recent decision to step down after 12 years. He was replaced by Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. Drescher, who announced her intention to run Friday, has the support of the Carteris-led Unite for Strength group.
In a statement, Drescher said: “I’m honored to have been asked to run. I hope to apply my experience as the president of the Cancer Schmancer Movement and my success on Capitol Hill and as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for uniting our union, increasing member benefits and giving our 160k strong membership a more significant presence on the national landscape.”
The 160,000 performers, actors and broadcast journalists are set to appoint a new president this summer.
It has been nearly six months since Gabrielle Carteris, the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress and longtime labor activist, was elected as president of Hollywood’s largest union — and she’s already making her mark.
The changes come after a grueling time for Hollywood’s unions. They spearheaded the entertainment industry’s efforts to reopen production, formulating safety proposals that are largely considered a success. They have also suffered a drop in revenue and job cuts as their members lost work during the pandemic.
Carteris has overseen many initiatives during her leadership, including her fight for the passage of California law AB 1687, which requires certain entertainment sites, including IMDb, to remove an actor’s age or birthday upon request, or to not post it in the first place.
Last year, the union agreed to a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, securing improvements in pay and residuals.
SAG-AFTRA also struck its first contract with Netflix that expanded the union’s coverage to workers who dub Netflix foreign-language productions into English and increased the amount of theatrical residuals that performers receive on higher-budget Netflix films.
Carteris was appointed in 2016 after the death of Ken Howard. She won election in 2017 and again in 2019.
Matthew Modine is also running for president on the Membership First dissident slate.
Carteris defeated Modine in 2019, after an unusually contentious campaign that highlighted rifts within the union.
Carteris is best known for portraying Andrea Zuckerman on teen soap opera “Beverly Hills, 90210” and an older version of that character on Fox show “BH90210” that launched in 2019.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris (“BH90210”) faces Matthew Modine (“Stranger Things”). The union will fight to increase pay in negotiations with studios.
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