The Nanny Talks Labor & Strikes

An interview with the President of SAG-AFTRA shows how well Hollywood understands LLMs and generative AI, among other things

Scholarly publishing is seeing an apparent yet mild resurgence of labor unions, with Duke University Press and PLOS workers actively pursuing labor negotiations with their employers. Employees at UPS, Amazon, and elsewhere have been more active with union activities, and companies are paying plenty to insinuate anti-union “persuaders” into their workforces to head off unionization efforts.

There’s a lot at stake in our age of income inequality — some want change, some like the status quo.

The current strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is remarkable on many levels, not the least of which is how Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA and an actress best-known for her role as the creator and titular character in the sitcom The Nanny, has emerged as a major pro-labor voice, articulating in precise and evocative language the stakes as she and her members see it, most famously during a press conference that went viral.

In a recent interview with Kara Swisher via her “On” podcast, Drescher tells it like it is. I learned a lot listening to this, much of which confirmed my view that actors and writers understand the stakes of LLMs and generative AI far better than we.

Forward to about the 10 minute mark for the interview if you’re not interested in the preamble.

‎On with Kara Swisher: Fran Drescher on the SAG Strike and Hollywood’s “Fat Cats” on Apple Podcasts
‎Show On with Kara Swisher, Ep Fran Drescher on the SAG Strike and Hollywood’s “Fat Cats” - Jul 20, 2023