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Controversy arises as Fran Drescher's anti-vaccine stance surfaces during a passionate SAG AFTRA speech

SAG AFTRA President Fran Drescher faces controversy over antivax stance.

American actress Fran Drescher, who is also the President of SAG AFTRA, has recently sparked controversy regarding her stance on vaccines. This controversy emerged after she delivered a passionate speech criticizing Hollywood studios for their failure to negotiate and prevent a strike by the actors' union. During her speech on July 13, the 65-year-old star expressed her disappointment with the studios, describing their actions as "disgusting" and accusing them of marginalizing and disrespecting the actors.

Drescher emphasized that the actors are the ones suffering in this situation, being victimized by the studios' greed. She expressed shock at the way they have been treated, highlighting the vast differences in their positions on various issues. Furthermore, she criticized the studios for claiming financial struggles while simultaneously providing large sums of money to their CEOs. Drescher condemned their actions, stating that they are on the wrong side of history.

In addition to addressing the studios' treatment of actors, Drescher also discussed the evolving business model of the industry. She emphasized the importance of the situation, as it reflects a broader trend in labor fields where employers prioritize Wall Street and greed over the essential contributors who keep the industry running. This shift in the business model has been largely influenced by the adoption of artificial intelligence and streaming platforms.

Following Drescher's call to strike, scheduled to begin on July 14, she faced criticism online for her stance on Covid mandates. Netizens pointed out that she had openly opposed the use of vaccine mandates on sets, which are implemented to ensure the safety of individuals from the novel coronavirus. This controversy can be traced back to February 2023 when Drescher delivered a controversial speech at the SAG Awards, urging Hollywood to use its influence to end forced vaccine mandates. She argued that as the nation declared an end to the Covid emergency, it was crucial for everyone to return to work with equal opportunities. Drescher suggested that the industry should utilize its financial influence to encourage governors to act in the best interest of freedom, diversity, inclusion, and democracy.

It is worth noting that Hollywood's Covid protocols were initially set to end on January 31 but were extended to April 1. Drescher's recent speech advocating for a strike was met with opposition from some netizens who cautioned against getting too excited. They claimed that the actress had used her position as the head of SAG AFTRA to push her anti-vaccine mandate agenda.

The announcement on July 13 revealed that SAG AFTRA members, including A-list stars and background actors, would be joining forces with the Writers Guild of America in the strike. This marks the first time since 1960 that both unions have gone on strike together, resulting in the shutdown of Hollywood.

The strike is a response to the ongoing dispute between the actors and writers unions and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The unions are demanding fair wages and improved working conditions from the AMPTP, which represents major streamers and studios such as Apple, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Warner Bros Discovery, Amazon, Disney, Netflix, and Sony. Despite the actors guild extending their negotiations for two weeks after their contracts expired on June 30, no agreement has been reached with the AMPTP.

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