Los Angeles, CA – Fran Drescher is now the new president of SAG-AFTRA after besting Matthew Modine in a highly contentious election that highlighted two warring factions within the roughly 160,000-member union.
Drescher, the actress and comedienne who rose to national prominence as TV’s The Nanny, represents the entrenched Unite for Strength wing of the union. Modine, most recently seen in Netflix’s Stranger Things, represents the more militant Membership First slate.
SAG-AFTRA represents film and television actors, journalists, recording artists and other media professionals around the world.
The two factions within the union have long been at odds over a series of major issues — not the least of which, includes the decision to discount residual earnings in determining healthcare eligibility.
Drescher received 16,958 votes, followed by Matthew Modine with 15,371 votes.
But Joely Fisher, the Membership First candidate for Secretary Treasurer, beat out the Unite for Strength candidate Anthony Rapp 18,547 to 13,593 to win the post and split the leadership.
Drescher, nevertheless released a statement promising the union will “rise up out of the melee to do what we do best, entertain and inform.”
“We must never forget the important contribution we make to many millions of people each and every day when they buy a ticket to sit in a dark theater or turn on their TVs or streaming devices,” she said. “Our chosen professions within the SAG-AFTRA membership have literally gotten Americans to laugh, to learn, to momentarily escape that we are all in a pandemic.”
The executive vice president, as well as the seven category and geographical vice presidents, will be elected by delegates at SAG-AFTRA’s biennial convention, which will be held October 15–18 and take place virtually to ensure the safety and health of all delegates. A complete list of results of National Board and local elections can be found at sagaftra.org/2021elections.