SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher railed against Disney CEO Bob Iger during an interview with Variety on the strike picket lines outside of the Paramount Pictures studio lot. In a July 13 interview with CNBC’s David Faber from the Sun Valley Conference, Iger said WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikers were not being “realistic” with their demands.
“I found them terribly repugnant and out of touch. Positively tone deaf,” Drescher said when asked about Iger’s comments. “I don’t think it served him well. If I were that company, I would lock him behind doors and never let him talk to anybody about this, because it’s so obvious that he has no clue as to what is really happening on the ground with hard working people that don’t make anywhere near the salary he is making. High seven figures, eight figures, this is crazy money that they make, and they don’t care if they’re land barons of a medieval time.”
Iger gave his interview at Sun Valley just hours before Drescher officially called for a SAG-AFTRA strike, with picketing beginning July 14.
“It’s very disturbing to me,” Iger said when asked about the labor strikes. “We’ve talked about disruptive forces on this business and all the challenges we’re facing, the recovery from COVID which is ongoing, it’s not completely back. This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption.”
Iger continued, “I understand any labor organization’s desire to work on behalf of its members to get the most compensation and be compensated fairly based on the value that they deliver. We managed, as an industry, to negotiate a very good deal with the directors guild that reflects the value that the directors contribute to this great business. We wanted to do the same thing with the writers, and we’d like to do the same thing with the actors. There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
Drescher went viral while announcing the SAG-AFTRA strike on July 13 due to her fiery speech in which she condemned the Hollywood studios.
“We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity,” Drescher said about SAG-AFTRA. “I cannot believe it, quite frankly: How far apart we are on so many things. How [the studios] plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It is disgusting. Shame on them.”
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Wagmeister.
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