SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, speaking during Sunday’s SAG Awards, called on Hollywood to flex its economic muscles to democratize states where civil and human rights are under attack.
“Our industry brings billions of production dollars to states across the nation,” she said, “but if they want our business, let’s wield our financial influence to make governors act in the best interest of freedom, diversity, inclusion and democracy. As my character Bobbi Flekman said in This Is Spinal Tap, ‘Money talks and bullsh*t walks!’”
She also again called for an end to the industry’s Covid vaccination mandate, which gives employers the right to require vaccinations as a condition of employment. “And as the nation declares an end to the Covid emergency this May,” she said, “I hope we will see everyone return to work in equal opportunity!”
The current Hollywood Covid protocols are set to expire April 1.
As evidenced by the protest tonight outside the awards show, many opponents of the mandate believe that it allows employers to discriminate against those who refuse to be vaccinated on religious or medical grounds.
RELATED: SAG Awards – Deadline’s Complete Coverage
In her remarks, Drescher also touched on the guild’s efforts to combat ageism, and on her work to make Hollywood more environmentally conscious.
Here’s the full text of the speech she gave tonight:
Good evening everyone,
This year is the first of what I hope will be a long partnership for the SAG Awards and Netflix. A big shout out to the DGA, WGA, AFM, IATSE, and Teamsters for tonight’s show!
I’m proud to say SAG-AFTRA & MPA have forged Green Council, the biggest joint effort of Stars and Studios to save the planet since WWll.
Mission 1: an honor system to eliminate single-use plastic on camera, behind the scenes, and leverage star power to challenge audiences around the world to do the same!
Congratulations seniors, of which I am one…can’t hear that enough! If you are a member in good standing and on Medicare then you are eligible for a free supplemental benefit. Woohoo!
A big thanks to IMDb for taking a stand AGAINST ageism, stereotyping and gender rigidity by allowing our members to define themselves their way on their profile page — for FREE. Well done!
And as the nation declares an end to the Covid emergency this May, I hope we will see everyone return to work in equal opportunity!
Performers enrich our lives exponentially, so let’s make some noise to pass the Performing Arts Tax Parity Act and the American Music Fairness Act.
SAG-AFTRA and the NFLPA together, forged Actors & Athletes for Democracy. We are the greatest influencers on the planet and must promote freedom for ALL.
Our industry brings billions of production dollars to states across the nation, but if they want our business, let’s wield our financial influence to make governors act in the best interest of freedom, diversity, inclusion and democracy.
As my character Bobbi Flekman said in This Is Spinal Tap, “Money talks & bullshit walks!”
Enjoy this evening everyone & break a leg!
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