SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher faced criticism for attending a Dolce & Gabbana event in Italy while contract talks with major studios were ongoing.
A photo of her with Kim Kardashian was shared on social media, sparking backlash from Hollywood’s creative community.
The union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have until July 12 to reach a new three-year contract or face a strike, which would be the first since 1980.
Drescher holds a unique position as both the elected union president and chair of SAG-AFTRA’s contract negotiating committee.
Despite criticism for her recent trip to Italy, SAG-AFTRA defended her decision, citing her role as a long-standing “brand ambassador” for the luxury fashion line.
“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. 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],” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement.
A recent photo of Fran Drescher and Kim Kardashian caused controversy because Kardashian has entered the scripted world with a role on American Horror Story, a show that has been targeted by the WGA and its SAG-AFTRA supporters.
This is because it is one of the few shows still in production despite the strategic shutdown of productions with completed scripts by striking WGA members in New York and Los Angeles.