Striking Actors Have Strict Rules on Halloween Costumes

SAG-AFTRA issues its 'dos and don'ts' for thespians on the picket line
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2023 12:08 PM CDT
Striking Actors Have Strict Rules on Halloween Costumes
We see you, Ryan Reynolds.   (Getty Images/Carlos Pascual)

If you had your Halloween costume picked out months ago, kudos to you for preplanning. If you had your Halloween costume picked out months ago, and you're an actor currently on the picket line, you might want to double-check if you're actually allowed to wear it. SAG-AFTRA has issued a "Halloween guidance" alert to its members, with some "dos and don'ts" on what costumes are permitted under strike rules. "Choose costumes inspired by generalized characters and figures," including ghosts, zombies, or spiders, the memo reads. The union also gives the green light to "characters from non-struck content, like an animated TV show."

What SAG-AFTRA doesn't want its striking actors dressing up as: characters from struck content, including ones from Barbie or the Marvel franchise ( the Hollywood Reporter notes that Marvel superheroes aren't exempt under the animation rule because the franchise is owned by Disney). If actors decide to defy that rule, the union asks that they at least don't blast photos of themselves all over social media. "Let's use our collective power to send a loud and clear message to our struck employers that we will not promote their content without a fair contract!" the memo reads.

The actors strike is closing in on its 100th day, with requests for a boost in wages, better health benefits, and protections against actors' likenesses being used via AI all on the table. The Writers Guild of America ended its strike in Hollywood last month. Actor Ryan Reynolds weighed in on the SAG-AFTRA costume rules on Thursday. "I look forward to screaming 'scab' at my 8 year old all night," he wrote. "She's not in the union but she needs to learn." (More actors strike stories.)

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