Fran Drescher is "very relieved" that the SAG-AFTRA strike has come to an end.
The 66-year-old activist serves as the national president of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and headed up a 118-day strike over concerns about wages for actors and creators in the industry alike, AI technology, and how the profits of digital streaming on services such as Netflix and Disney+ can be divided.
However, after the group reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and ended the strike on Thursday, Drescher has admitted that she is "very grateful" for the conclusion.
She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "I'm very relieved and kind of tired, but a good tired, because we did a job well done. The proof's in this contract and it was a herculean task. It was kind of a David and Goliath story, and you know how that ended.
“So we feel very, very grateful, but also thankful to the AMPTP, because once they understood the seriousness of our proposal, and that put it in the context of the historical moment that we were in, and the necessity for a seminal contract, they met the moment."
The initial strike had seen the likes of Jason Sudeikis, Hilary Duff and Florence Pugh take to the pickets and the deal will go to the union's national board on Friday for approval.
The vote was unanimous, and the union said it was "thrilled and proud" to announce the strike "is officially suspended" with all pickets closed.
The organisation said in a statement: "In a contract valued at over one billion dollars, we have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes 'above-pattern' minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI and for the first time establishes a streaming participation bonus.
"Our Pension and Health caps have been substantially raised, which will bring much-needed value to our plans.
"In addition, the deal includes numerous improvements for multiple categories including outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities."
Meanwhile, in its own statement, AMPTP described the deal as a representation of a "new paradigm".
They continued: "It gives SAG-AFTRA the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last forty years; a brand new residual for streaming programs; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizable contract increases on items across the board.
"The AMPTP is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories.”
Kevin E. West, a member of the committee, told Variety there were "tears of exhilaration and joy" in the committee room after approval of the contract, while acknowledging the final deal is "not perfect", noting "nothing is".
He added: "The final vote was unanimous. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish. It’s honestly been a really long two weeks.”