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Fans say Fran Drescher’s union speech channeled her ‘The Nanny’ character, who never crossed picket lines

“Fran been holding it down since 'The Nanny,'" one fan wrote on Twitter.
/ Source: TODAY

Nanny Fine would no doubt be proud of Fran Drescher.

Drescher, 65, delivered an impassioned speech Thursday as she announced that SAG-AFTRA, a labor union representing actors and others in the entertainment industry, was calling a strike, meaning actors could not perform or participate in publicity moving forward.

“If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in trouble. We are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines and big business,” she said.

Drescher’s rousing remarks reminded many fans of an episode from Drescher’s 1990s sitcom, “The Nanny,” when her character, Fran Fine, refuses to cross a picket line.

In the 1994 episode from the show’s second season, Fran is about to walk into a swanky party with her boss, Mr. Sheffield. 

But then she notices that the busboys for the event are picketing with signs outside the venue.

“Wait a minute, are the busboys on strike?” she says. “Mr. Sheffield, I can’t go in there.”

She explains her family’s support of strikes, saying if she crossed the picket line, her aunt would “roll over in her grave, which was paid for by her union.”

Fran also says her mother had three rules: “Never make contact with a public toilet,” “never wear musk oil to the zoo” and “never, ever, ever cross a picket line.”

The episode clip began making the rounds after Drescher, who is the president of SAG-AFTRA, shared her union’s demands for better pay and fairer contracts.

“At some point, the jig is up. You cannot keep being dwindled and marginalized, disrespected and dishonored,” she said in her July 13 press conference.

Fans were quick to react to this apparent example of life imitating art.

“Fran Drescher becoming one of the consequential union leaders of our time is an arc I am absolutely delighted by as both a union gal and a ‘90s kid,” one person said on Twitter.

“Fran been holding it down since The Nanny,” another person tweeted.

“i love fran drescher and may i remind you that the nanny, fran fine, would never cross a picket line,” another person wrote.

Others revealed that they first learned about strikes and picketing from that 1994 episode of “The Nanny.”

“It’s times like this when I’m reminded that the first time I learned about not crossing the picket line was from The Nanny and Fran Fine refusing to cross a picket line,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Just something for me to feel joy about.”

“I will say a very fitting episode of The Nanny is that she almost gets fired because she REFUSES to cross a picket line! (It was literally the moment that taught me about picket lines as a kid),” another person tweeted.

SAG-AFTRA went on strike at 12:01 a.m. on July 14. The union is demanding better pay and working conditions, as well as contracts that address concerns over artificial intelligence. "The entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, AI," Drescher said in her speech.

Hollywood writers are striking as well, resulting in a shutdown of production.

The SAG-AFTRA union called the strike after negotiations failed with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios including Paramount, Sony, Disney and Netflix. 

Comcast — the corporation that owns TODAY’s parent company, NBCUniversal — is one of the entertainment companies represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.