Date: October 20, 2023
Hollywood, CA – As the nationwide actors’ strike continues to grip the entertainment industry, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has issued strict guidelines prohibiting striking actors from dressing up as characters from struck content for Halloween. The ban, which includes popular characters like Barbie, Marvel superheroes, and Wednesday Addams, has been met with humorous defiance from Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds.
The guild’s directive urges members to opt for costumes inspired by generalized characters such as ghosts, zombies, or spiders, or to choose characters from non-struck content like animated television shows. SAG-AFTRA’s message is clear: actors must not promote struck content without a fair contract in place.
In response to the controversial ban, Ryan Reynolds took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) with his trademark wit. “I look forward to screaming ‘scab’ at my 8-year-old all night. She’s not in the union but she needs to learn,” he quipped in response to a Variety article about the guidance.
The ban comes as the actors’ strike, now nearing its 100th day, continues to disrupt the entertainment industry. The strike, initiated on July 19, revolves around issues concerning pay, employment consistency, and control over the use of artificial intelligence. Talks between SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios broke off recently without reaching a deal.
While the Writers Guild of America (WGA) resolved its issues with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), ending the writers’ strike after 146 days, actors remain at an impasse. The return of writers has jumpstarted some Hollywood productions, but the ongoing actors’ strike has led to delays and suspensions in the production of several TV shows and films, including highly anticipated projects like Wicked, Deadpool 3, and Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 2.
The impact of the strike is rippling through the awards season as well. The Emmys, which opted to wait for the actors, rescheduled their ceremony from September to January. However, even this date could be threatened if the strike persists. As the strike endures, performers are largely prohibited from promoting their films at press events or on red carpets, creating a significant challenge for studios and filmmakers.
While renowned director Martin Scorsese continues to give interviews about his new Oscar contender Killers of the Flower Moon, star and SAG-AFTRA member Leonardo DiCaprio remains silent due to the strike’s restrictions.
As the strike reaches this significant milestone, the future of the entertainment industry hangs in the balance, with actors, directors, and studios anxiously awaiting a resolution to the ongoing dispute.