Fran Drescher is easily reelected as SAG-AFTRA president

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher at a news conference
Fran Drescher, center, at a July news conference, has been SAG-AFTRA president since 2021.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)

Fran Drescher was easily reelected as president of SAG-AFTRA on Friday, a strong show of support as the actors union continues its nearly two-month-old strike against major Hollywood studios.

Drescher — who has been SAG-AFTRA president since 2021 — received 81% of the votes cast, SAG-AFTRA said in a statement Friday night. Her opponent, Maya Gilbert-Dunbar, received 19%.

Joely Fisher was reelected secretary treasurer with 70% of the votes, defeating challenger Peter Antico.


“I am honored to serve my union as president for another term,” Drescher said. “These are dynamic times, and as one member body, we will weather the storms, stand on our principles and make sure our major contributions to this collaborative art form shall never again be diminished but rather be exalted.”

“The Nanny” sitcom star has led the union as it joined the Writers Guild of America in a dual Hollywood union strike not seen since 1960.

Actors went on strike July 14 over issues such as how they are compensated by streaming services and the spread of artificial intelligence.

When the union announced its plans, Drescher delivered an impassioned speech supporting the walkout that resonated among rank-and-file members.

“Member unity will be my greatest legacy,” Drescher wrote in her candidate statement. “Join us in a non-partisan new dawn.”

SAG-AFTRA has approved a deal from the studios to end its historic strike. The actors were on strike for more than 100 days.

Nov. 10, 2023


Gilbert-Dunbar had raised concerns about the duration of the work stoppage and whether current leadership was doing enough to negotiate a new deal that would end the strike.

Gilbert-Dunbar, who has appeared on series including “Southland,” had pledged “to put every ounce of effort into ending this strike within 60 days of my presidency.”

She also ran for L.A. Local president and lost to incumbent Jodi Long.

Frustration, fears about the future and a high degree of mistrust continue to shape the script of Hollywood’s strikes by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.

Sept. 1, 2023

The election results were not surprising, given that the union’s leadership had strong support going into the strike, which was authorized by 98% of those who voted.

SAG-AFTRA said it has not heard back from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, known as AMPTP, since July 12.

Prior to the actors strike, a federal mediator was brought into negotiations.

Gilbert-Dunbar and Antico advocated for bringing in professional mediators to settle the strike.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass told The Times that “I am more than willing to convene people if and when it is appropriate, and both sides have told me that if they felt there was a need that they would absolutely respond.”

Aside from its conflict with studios, SAG-AFTRA also faces a brewing fight with video game companies.

The union’s board is asking its members who do work for video games to authorize the union to call for a strike as it negotiates a new agreement with businesses including divisions of Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard.

SAG-AFTRA has approved a deal from the studios to end its historic strike. The actors were on strike for more than 100 days.

Nov. 10, 2023

Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.