Halloween, a time of year when everyone, from children to adults, gets to dress up and embrace their inner child or their favourite character. However, this year, a certain group of individuals, specifically actors, are facing restrictions on their Halloween attire. But why? Let’s delve into the details.
The Reason Behind the Ban
SAG-AFTRA’s New Guidelines
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has recently issued a set of strict guidelines regarding what its members can and cannot wear for Halloween. The reason? An ongoing strike against certain studios. This means that SAG-AFTRA members are prohibited from dressing up as characters from any studio targeted by the strike.
Costumes That Are Off The Table
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Explicitly Struck Content
Any costume representing a character from explicitly struck content is off-limits. This includes iconic characters such as Barbie or Robert Oppenheimer. Furthermore, actors are advised against posting pictures on Twitter or any other social media platform in costumes of characters from the Marvel universe, as they fall under the Disney umbrella.
What Can Actors Wear?
Generic Halloween Tropes
SAG-AFTRA suggests that its members opt for more generic, traditional Halloween costumes. So, if you happen to have someone like Ryan Gosling ringing your doorbell, expect him to be dressed as a simple ghost or perhaps sporting a pair of cat ears. The idea is to avoid any costumes that could inadvertently promote the content of studios currently in dispute with the union.
The Ongoing SAG-AFTRA Strike
The Root of the Issue
The current SAG-AFTRA strike, which is nearing its 100th day, is the driving force behind these new costume guidelines. The tension between the union and powerful studio heads is palpable, with both parties failing to reach an agreement. This strike, combined with the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike, has caused significant disruption to the American film and television industries, comparable only to the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bigger Picture
Issues Central to the Dispute
The strike encompasses issues far more significant than just Halloween costumes. Central concerns include the rise of streaming and its impact on residuals, as well as challenges posed by AI and emerging digital recreation technologies. This strike is historic, marking the first actors’ labour dispute in the U.S. since 1980 and the first combined actor-writer strike since 1960.
Final Thoughts on actors being banned from dressing up for Halloween
While the restrictions on Halloween costumes might seem trivial to some, they are a reflection of the larger issues at play in the entertainment industry. Actors, like all of us, enjoy the freedom to dress up and celebrate. However, in the current climate, they are being asked to show solidarity and avoid promoting content from studios they are in dispute with. One can only hope that by next Halloween, actors will once again have the freedom to choose their costumes without any restrictions.
What do you make of this news? Do you think that SAF-AFTRA is right to ban their actors from dressing up as certain movie characters for Halloween?
Which movie character are you going to dress up as this Halloween?