You might not see any famous actors dress as Barbie or Ken this Halloween after the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), the union representing thousands of Hollywood actors , told its members what they should and should not wear as they strike.
On Thursday, the union issued new guidelines for Halloween costumes during the strike that aimed to help members avoid crossing any picket lines, which has since been deleted. The new rules discourage actors from dressing as characters from major studio productions, or from posting photos of such costumes online.
SAG-AFTRA Gives Halloween Costume Guidance
“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 union wrote.
Instead, SAG-AFTRA encouraged generic costumes, such as vampires, zombies, or witches. For example, instead of dressing as Spider-Man, they recommend dressing as a spider. Another option is to “dress up as characters from non-struck content, like an animated TV show.” Doing so allows members to “celebrate Halloween this year while also staying in solidarity.”
The rule does not apply to anyone who is not a member, including fans, children, or family members of striking actors . The union clarified after A-lister Ryan Reynolds, who has celebrated Halloween by dressing up as his superhero movie character, Deadpool, made a joking post on X about the new rules.
“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 wrote.
John Rocha, co-host of film review podcast The Hot M ic , took criticisms a step further by calling the decision "foolish," noting he hopes the union reverses the ordinance.
“Partying at Halloween dressed as the characters their fellow SAG actors brought to life (while they blow off some steam) should be ENCOURAGED,” he said.
Negotiations between Hollywood studios and SAG-AFTRA collapsed last week, with the union accusing studios of "bully tactics." Actors seek contracts that accommodate their work in new age of streaming services, as well as regulations to AI usage in the industry that protect their digital likeness and intellectual property.