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SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher Slammed for Kim Kardashian Pic, Promo Trip Amid Union Negotiation

Fran Drescher Slammed for Kim Kardashian Pic
Fran Drescher and Kim Kardashian Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock; Abaca Press/INSTARimages

UPDATE 7/13/23 5:30 p.m. — After facing backlash for taking a selfie with Kim Kardashian amid the Screen Actors Guild negotiations, Fran Drescher has addressed the concerns.

“I’m a brand ambassador for a fashion company, and so is Kim. I had only met Kim seconds before that publicity photo was taken,” Drescher said during a Thursday, July 13, press conference for SAG-AFTRA. “It had nothing to do with being at a party or having fun, it was absolute work. … It’s work, and that’s what we do.”

She also noted that she continued working with the union while on the international trip. “At 10:30 at night, I would leave the event and go to my hotel room and call into the Zoom. I worked around the clock in three different time zones,” Drescher told reporters, noting she also recently visited her parents in Florida. “I think that all of the people standing behind me stand behind me.”

SAG-AFTRA has since authorized an actors strike.

Original story below:

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher came under fire for attending Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda fashion show with Kim Kardashian ahead of the union’s negotiation with major studios.

Drescher, 65, was photographed at the star-studded event in Puglia, Italy, on Sunday, July 9, days before the union faces a deadline for contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. After Kardashian, 42, shared a photo of herself posing with Drescher, some observers questioned Drescher’s commitment to the negotiations.

“Look — I’m not saying one can’t have a personal life,” actress Briana Cap tweeted on Monday, July 10. “And I’m not saying one can’t take a vacation. But we are in the middle of the most crucial negotiation in decades and our WGA siblings are on day 70 of fighting for their lives. The optics here are *truly* awful. Do better.”

Narcos: Mexico actor Lenny Jacobson, for his part, added in a tweet: “Negotiating our possible strike from Italy seems like a strange strategy @frandrescher @sagaftra.”

A rep for SAG-AFTRA, meanwhile, said that Drescher was in Italy working as a “brand ambassador” for Dolce & Gabbana.

“This was a commitment fully known to the negotiating committee,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Monday. “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]. She is returning to the States and will be on the ground in L.A. [Tuesday, July 11], and will continue to chair our negotiations.”

Khloe Kardasian, Kylie Jenner, Kris Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner attend the Kardashian Kollection Launch Party at The Colony on August 17, 2011 in Hollywood, California.

Related: Kardashian-Jenner Family’s Biggest Controversies and Scandals

SAG-AFTRA has been in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers since last month. Negotiations have stalled over several key points, including the use of artificial intelligence in film and TV projects and increased residual payments for streaming. The deadline for negotiating a new contract is Wednesday, July 12, at midnight PT. If the two organizations fail to reach a deal, SAG-AFTRA has indicated it may authorize a strike. It would be the first time the actors union has gone on strike since 1980.

The Writers Guild of America, meanwhile, has been on strike since May 2 over many of the same issues. If SAG-AFTRA authorizes a strike, it would mark the first time in 60 years that both unions have been on strike at the same time.

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Much of Hollywood has already been shut down over the WGA strike, though production on Ryan Murphy‘s show American Horror Story has notably continued. Kardashian, who will appear in season 12 of the FX series, crossed the picket line in May to film the series.

Murphy, 57, has contributed to a $1.7 million relief fund for striking writers, but critics have still questioned why AHS has continued production while other shoots have shut down. “We’re not here in protest of Ryan Murphy, the guy, we’re here in protest of production happening without writers and while writers are on strike,” writer Josh Gondelman told The New York Times earlier this month while protesting outside the studio where AHS was filming.

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