Star of “The Nanny” Takes Helm of a Divided Actors’ Union in the USA
Fran Drescher claimed victory in her race for president of SAG-AFTRA on Thursday night, and vowed to lock arms with her fellow union members and “rise up out of the melee.”
Easier said than done. Drescher takes charge of a union that is famously fractious, and more divided than it has been in recent years.
Even as the star of “The Nanny” defeated Matthew Modine by a narrow margin, Modine’s dissident faction — Membership First — gained seats on the national board, took overwhelming control of the Los Angeles local, and won the election for national secretary-treasurer, the third-ranking post in the union.
But the gains made by Membership First suggest rising discontent among some of the rank-and-file, at least among the 26.5% of the electorate who returned their ballots.
Drescher campaigned on a platform of vague positivity, and was not steeped in the the minutiae of union affairs. Her detractors see her as little more than a figurehead. But her supporters say she has a steely backbone — and note that she is not bogged down by the bitter internal fights of the past.