Halloween is just over a week away, with parties for the annual holiday likely hitting next weekend. Normally, this year’s festivities would be like any other year: you dress up with your friends as your favorite characters and hang out or watch some horror movies, or you watch other people dress up as your favorite characters with their friends and hang on your phone. But this is a Halloween that’s taking place during an actor’s strike, so things are going to be a little strange for actors.
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Earlier in the week, SAG-AFTRA released a set of rules for how striking actors should behave this Halloween in regards to costumes. Actors aren’t allowed to dress up as characters from popular media such as say, Barbie (and Ken), Oppenheimer, Wednesday Addams, and so on. Similarly, they can’t dress up as any of those characters and then post said images on social media. What’s the alternative? Well, the actors union suggested that its members dress up as either characters from “non-struck content” (like an animated show or someone from Walking Dead or Interview With the Vampire?), or generalized characters like werewolves, ghosts, and zombies.
Speaking to Variety, a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson explained that the guidance was made to help actors “avoid promoting struck work, and it is the latest in a series of guidelines we have issued.” They went on to stress that it doesn’t affect the general public, nor does it affect anyone’s children. “We are on strike for important reasons, and have been for nearly 100 days. Our number one priority remains getting the studios back to the negotiating table so we can get a fair deal for our members, and finally put our industry back to work.”
Even so, the decision received its fair share of criticism from Hollywood actors such as Mandy Moore and Ryan Reynolds. And Melissa Gilbert, an ex-president of the guild, called the move “the kind of silly bullshit that keeps us on strike. 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!”
SAG-AFTRA hasn’t responded to the criticism for its Halloween decision at time of writing, and it remains to be seen if it even will respond over the next week. Halloween will take place on Tuesday, October 31.
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…. to be continued
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