Fran Drescher wants one thing to be clear: She took a selfie with Kim Kardashian at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Italy this week for work, and not fun. The SAG-AFTRA president, 65, made the comment while addressing her infuriated peers who criticized her at a SAG-AFTRA press conference on Thursday, July 13, hours after the union began its historic strike. “That wasn’t a selfie,” she pressed. “I’m a brand ambassador for a fashion company and so is Kim. I had only met Kim seconds before that publicity picture was taken.” See the selfie in question HERE.
“It had nothing to do with being at a party or having fun — it was absolute work,” Fran added. “We work. That’s what we do.” She also said that she was in constant communication with the SAG-AFTRA board, including at 10:30 p.m. following the fashion show. “And if I couldn’t get through to them because I was on a plane, I was texting with them constantly throughout the plane ride,” she said. Furthering her point, Fran said she worked “around the clock in three different time zones,” as she also has to care for her parents’ “wellbeing” at all times, and they live in Florida.
The night before the press conference, on Wednesday, July 12, SAG-AFTRA formerly began its strike against Hollywood’s biggest studios. They joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which was already 11 weeks into its strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. It’s the first time in 63 years that both unions have been on strike simultaneously.
SAG-AFTRA members did not mince any words when slamming the Nanny star following her appearance in Italy. “My union president chilling in Italy while we’re in the middle of negotiations and about to go on strike,” Insidious: The Last Key actor Kirk Acevedo tweeted on July 11. “We’re asking to be better compensated by the studios and Fran Drescher is mugging for cameras in Italy. The optics look f****** terrible.” Perry Mason actor Eric Lange added (via PEOPLE), “It’s astonishing that, on the eve of a likely strike, while people are losing their homes, their health insurance, etc you’re partying it up with Kim in Italy. Astonishing and indefensible.” He has since deleted the tweet.
The SAG-AFTRA board, however, supported Fran’s attendance at the event. “President Drescher is working as a brand ambassador for Dolce and Gabbana on location in Italy. This was a commitment fully known to the negotiating committee,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement to Variety on June 10. “She has been in negotiations every day either in person or via videoconference. President Drescher is managing a physically demanding schedule across three time zones, overseeing negotiations and working on location daily as well as managing her parents’ needs in [Florida]. She is returning to the States and will be on the ground in L.A. tomorrow [July 11], and will continue to chair our negotiations.”
SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher slams Bob Iger’s “repugnant” strike remarks: “If I were that company, I would lock him behind doors and never let him talk to anybody about this, because it’s so obvious that he has no clue as to what is really happening.” https://t.co/UacRrD06I4 pic.twitter.com/B7PpBMPAJn
— Variety (@Variety) July 14, 2023
On the heels of her received criticism, Fran went after Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, who called the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes “disturbing” and unrealistic. “I found [his comments] terribly repungent and out of touch. Positively tone deaf,” she told Variety, as seen in the above video. “If I were that company, I would lock him behind doors and never let him talk to anybody about this, because it’s so obvious that he has no clue as to what is really happening on the ground with hard working people that don’t make anywhere near the salary he is making. High seven figures, eight figures, this is crazy money that they make, and they don’t care if they’re land barons of a medieval time.”