SAG-AFTRA Halloween Costume Guidelines Explained


As of Saturday, October 21, SAG-AFTRA has been on strike for 100 days. And with Hallowe’en Just around the corner, the actors union has issued guidelines on how union members can celebrate and dress in a way that does not promote striking work.

SAG-AFTRA initially published Rules related to Halloween on Wednesday, Oct. 18, advising members to “choose costumes inspired by widespread characters and figures (ghosts, zombies, spiders, etc.)” and not “post photos of costumes inspired by shocked content on social media.” However, characters from unaffected film and television projects, such as animated television shows, are still allowed.

An orange Halloween-themed poster laying out SAG-AFTRA guidelines for Halloween 2023.

SAG-AFTRA Halloween Guidelines for Members.

The rules were met with pushback online from several union members, including Ryan Reynolds, who tweeted: “Can’t wait to yell ‘scab’ at my 8 year old daughter all night. She’s not in the union but needs to learn “.

On her Instagram Story, Mandy Moore asked: “Is this a joke? Come on @sagaftra. Is this what’s important? We ask that you negotiate in good faith on our behalf. Many people in all aspects of this industry have been sacrificing enormously for months. Come back to the table and get a fair deal so everyone can get back to work.”

Former SAG-AFTRA president Melissa Gilbert also criticized the guidelines, posting on instagram: “THIS is what they came up with? Literally no one cares what they wear for Halloween. I mean, do you really think this kind of childish stuff is going to end the strike? We look like a joke. Please , tell me”. Let’s make this rule go away…and negotiate! For the love of God, people are suffering a lot and this is what they have to say… come on guys…”

SAG-AFTRA responded to the backlash on Friday, October 20, clarifying that the rule was never intended for anyone’s children and that it was implemented specifically to address concerns from union members and content creators about supporting the strike during Halloween. .

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA said: “SAG-AFTRA issued a Halloween guide in response to questions from content creators and members on how to support the strike this holiday season. This was intended to help them avoid promoting striking labor and is the latest in a series of guidance we have issued. It doesn’t apply to anyone’s children. We are on strike for important reasons and we have been on strike for almost 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 get our industry up and running.”

Notably, these Halloween guidelines (and the backlash) come at a time when SAG-AFTRA is still trying to negotiate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). However, the most recent round of talks collapsed on October 12, when SAG-AFTRA announced that “industry CEOs have walked away from the negotiating table after refusing to counter our latest offer,” which addressed concerns such as artificial intelligence and streaming revenue share. After 148 days of strike, the WGA was able to reach an agreement with the AMPTP involving similar issues, setting the standard for continued SAG-AFTRA negotiations.

So what do these Halloween guidelines and ongoing negotiations mean for you? costume this year? Well, if you’re not in SAG-AFTRA or are a content creator who has been specifically asked not to promote striking labor, not much. Unless strikers specifically ask the public not to dress as affected movie and television characters, you can still dress as popular figures such as Barbie either Wednesday.

Can show solidarity with striking actors In other ways. As for Halloween, you can choose to follow SAG-AFTRA’s advice not to post images of said costumes on social media. Elsewhere, you can share your support online (see SAG-AFTRA Social Toolkit), join a picket as a supporteror donate to the Community Entertainment Fund.

Remember: This Halloween, there’s nothing scarier than an unfair contract.

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