SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said that the 160,000 actors who will be on strike starting Friday are fighting for bigger issues, against things like jobs being replaced by artificial intelligence and corporate greed.
“This is a moment of history, a moment of truth. If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in trouble,” she said at Thursday’s press conference. “We are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines and big business, who care more about Wall Street than you and your family.”
Drescher said she started negotiations thinking a strike could be avoided, and was shocked by what she said was the corporate greed of management’s proposals.
“We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity,” she said. “I can not believe about how far apart we are.”
It is expected that there will be job losses outside of the film and television industry, especially in Southern California, because of the hit to businesses that support the industry and depending on spending by those in the industry. She said the striking workers’ “hearts bleed for them.”
“It’s a terrible thing to have to do, but we were forced into it,” she said.
And she concluded the press conference saying she expects the general public will support the actors in the strike, and issuing a warning that foretold what could happen if they don’t win.
“We are being taken advantage of in a terrible way,” she said. “If we let this happen to us, dollars to donuts it going to happen to you and your family, your children and everyone you work with too. That’s how threatening this moment is in our nation’s history.”