Halloween may be looking quite a bit different this year…
For around 100 days, Hollywood’s actors have been engaged in a strike against the industry’s major film studios. Those who are a part of the SAG-AFTRA union have been picketing for better working conditions and protections in the industry. Unfortunately, no settlement has been made between the actors and the studios, and the strike has continued longer than anyone had hoped.
Now, the screen actors union is forced to navigate difficult situations, one of them being their position on dressing up for the upcoming holiday, Halloween.
Halloween Costumes Become a Point of Contention for SAG-AFTRA
Every year, fans can’t wait to see all of the incredible costumes being worn by celebrities on Halloween. Many times, these costumes are topical and reflect the popular movies and TV shows that have come out this year. However, that will not be the case for this upcoming season.
This year, SAG-AFTRA has established Halloween costume guidelines to ensure that members uphold professional integrity and protect their own reputations. These guidelines serve as a reminder that even during the festive season, actors must maintain a level of responsibility and adhere to the ongoing strike.
One of the primary rules outlined by SAG-AFTRA is to refrain from wearing costumes that support any major studio that is considered “struck.” This means pretty much any character that has been portrayed in a major tv show or movie project. Instead, SAG-AFTRA suggests that every SAG AFTRA member wear more generalized costumes, like a ghost, witch, or cat.
This verdict is quite a shocking one for many. It really does take out so many costs from the pool of potential options. Struck costumes include:
- Barbie and Ken from the recent Barbie movie
- Disney Characters from any film or movie
- Superheros associated with Marvel or DC
- Any characters from the Harry Potter franchise
- Characters from popular shows like Stranger Things, The Last of Us, and Wednesday.
…and thousands more.
Celebrities Call out SAG-AFTRA for Extreme Rules
However, not everyone is in full support of these rules from SAG-AFTRA. Many members have criticized the union for taking such a severe stance on something as silly as a Halloween costume. Ryan Reynolds posted a sarcastic comment on the subject.
I look forward to screaming “scab” at my 8 year old all night. She’s not in the union but she needs to learn
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) October 19, 2023
It even caught the attention of Melissa Gilbert, the previous president of SAG-AFTRA. She said on Instagram;
“THIS is what you guys come up with? Literally no one cares what anyone wears for Halloween. I mean, do you really think this kind of infantile stuff is going to end the strike? We look like a joke. Please tell me you’re going to make this rule go away….and go negotiate! For the love of God, people are suffering mightily and this is what you have to say…c’mon guys….”
SAG-AFTRA later clarified that this rule does not apply to children. Still, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out as Halloween creeps closer and closer. Many actors will likely follow the rule in fear of being called a “scab” by fellow actors and possibly seeing career repercussions.
As negotiation for the strike continues, all anyone can hope for is that an agreement between the two parties can finally be settled upon.