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SAG-AFTRA Elects the Nanny to Lead the Union

Fran Drescher and Joely Fisher have been elected to the unions top two positions

Kris LaGrange's picture
Sep 08, 2021

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing performers in film, tv, and radio recently held their union elections and chose a new President in Fran Drescher.

Drescher, who came to fame on the 90’s sitcom The Nanny, won a bitter battle against actor Matthew Modine, winning about 52% of the vote. Drescher was running on the Unite for Strength slate while Modine ran on the Membership First slate. While Drescher was elected President, Membership First candidate Joely Fisher was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Drescher will replace Gabrielle Cateris who decided to not run for reelection after serving two terms in office.

“I am honored to serve my union in this capacity. Together we will navigate through these troubled times of global health crisis and together we will rise up out of the melee to do what we do best, entertain and inform,” Drescher shared in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter.

She takes over the union at a difficult point for the industry which was largely shut down for much of 2020 and changed much of their distribution models during the pandemic. For example, many studios began releasing movies on streaming platforms in addition to theatres without reworking contracts that paid performers based on the box office gross. One major star, Scarlett Johansen, has already filed a lawsuit over this issue saying that it cost her millions of dollars when Disney released Black Widow on their streaming platform.

“We must never forget the important contribution we make to many millions of people each and every day when they buy a ticket to sit in a dark theater or turn on their TV’s or streaming devices. Our chosen professions within the SAG-AFTRA membership have literally gotten Americans to laugh, to learn to momentarily escape that we are all in a pandemic. We members serve an invaluable purpose in the grand scheme of things. We must never forget who we are and what unites us as one union. Today marks the beginning of a fresh start, let us forge forward in a holistic and non-partisan ascension towards the precipice of a new dawn,” Drescher continued.

In addition to acting, Drescher founded the non-profit Cancer Schmancer to educate and empower people after she survived cancer. She has also been responsible for the unanimous passage of a bill in Congress, has made multiple trips to Capitol Hill to lobby for health issues, and was appointed Public Diplomacy Envoy for the U.S. State Department during the administrations of Presidents Bush ‘43 through Obama ‘44.

Fisher also brings a long-acting career that includes playing the role of Paige Clark in Ellen, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress, Series, Mini-Series or Television Film. Her extensive film career includes multiple television and film roles, including Inspector Gadget, Growing Pains, Grace Under Fire, and The Outer Limits. She has also appeared on stage in Cabaret and Grease. Fisher also comes from a strong union family with her mother, Connie Stevens serving in the same role as secretary-treasurer of the union’s predecessor SAG.

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