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NextImg:Fran Drescher wins reelection bid for SAG-AFTRA president

Actress Fran Drescher has won her union's election to remain president for another two-year term.

Drescher's presidency in the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists began in 2021, when she narrowly beat actor Matthew Modine, most recently of Stranger Things fame, for the position. Actress Maya Gilbert-Dunbar was her opponent, who ultimately lost when Drescher nabbed 81% of the vote.


SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, left, and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland speak during a press conference announcing a strike by The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists on Thursday, July, 13, 2023, in Los Angeles.

Gilbert-Dunbar ran in opposition to Drescher in an attempt to end the strike. Ballots were mailed to SAG-AFTRA members nationwide on Aug. 9, long after the strike had begun. The votes, which included a 22% voter turnout of those eligible members, were tabulated Friday.

“Chain your a**es up to the damn door of the Sherman Oaks building to show how serious you are,” Gilbert-Dunbar advised Drescher. “People can’t afford this. Strikes were never meant to last months and months. An effective strike should be short and sweet.”

Gilbert-Dunbar is a television actress and writer, known for her roles on The Mentalist, Harry's Law, and Southland. She's been married to fellow actor Rockmond Dunbar going on 10 years.

"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," Drescher said in a statement following her win. "Much has been accomplished in the past two years but I feel great optimism that the next two will be our greatest ever!"

Fran Fine was Drescher's character in The Nanny and was also the titular nanny in the series that lasted from 1993 to 1999. While Drescher starred in the series, she was also its creator. This was her first writing credit but not her first acting credit, as she appeared in Fame, Nine to Five, and Law and Order. It would go on to win one Emmy, with Drescher receiving two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globes nomination of her own.

Drescher's voice would be cast in the Hotel Transylvania sequels, the most recent of which came last year. The actress also made a one-episode appearance on the short-lived Mr. Mayor television series. Most recently, Drescher was cast in a made-for-TV movie called Dawn, which was released this year.

Joely Fisher was also reelected as secretary-treasurer, which is also a two-year term.


SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers and has been on strike for 56 days as of Friday. The negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers revolve around increased wages but also for protections against artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, the Writers Guild of America has been on strike for nearly 130 days with its 11,500 writers. WGA has come to a head with the same group of studios, networks, and streamers over higher wages. The last time both WGA and SAG-AFTRA were simultaneously on strike was in 1960, with Ronald Reagan at the helm before he ran for president.