The union SAG-AFTRA has set forth clear guidelines on Halloween costumes for actors currently on strike. Actors are expressly forbidden from donning costumes of characters from the affected shows and movies and then sharing those images on online platforms.
This means certain trending costumes this season, such as Barbie and Wednesday Addams, are off the table.
The union advised its members to “opt for costumes based on generic personas and creatures—like ghosts, zombies, or spiders.” However, there’s always the chance someone might attend a bash dressed as a parody of Carol Lombardini.
Costumes inspired by characters from non-affected content, like certain animated series, are permissible. But dressing as Marvel superheroes is a no-go, even if their origin is in comics, due to Disney’s ownership.
While one could debate over the technicalities of character ownership—for instance, Mattel owns Barbie—the main concern is the unintentional promotion of a major studio’s top summer film. The overarching objective is to be considerate of the implications a costume might convey.
SAG-AFTRA Halloween Directives
“We urge everyone to utilize our united strength to convey a resounding message to our affected employers: we won’t endorse their work without a just agreement,” the union’s announcement read.
The SAG-AFTRA strike is approaching its 100th day, following unsuccessful negotiations with studios last Saturday.
While actors might technically dress up as characters from the affected content in private, it’s wiser to avoid potential backlash. After all, few things are more haunting than being labeled a strikebreaker.