Strict Halloween Costume Regulations Imposed on Striking Actors

( — Rules, guidelines, and conventions around Halloween costumes are not a new phenomenon. They vary by place, time, and situation. Schools often have rules that prevent teenagers from wearing costumes that are offensive or sexy. Churches that have Halloween events might include those rules as well as forbidding costumes that may be considered demonic or satanic. The last few decades have seen many costumes criticized and even banned for being politically incorrect. This year, the American labor union SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has issued a set of rules for their members and supporters to follow to show solidarity for the actor’s strike that has been ongoing since July 14.

The advice SAG-AFTRA has given is to keep costumes generalized. They would like actors and supporters to not wear specific character costumes that might be interpreted as free advertising for a movie, a series, a franchise, or a studio. They also suggest anyone participating in or supporting the strike avoid posting photos on their social media accounts of anyone dressed in costumes that could be seen as supporting the studios.

However, not everyone is happy to use Halloween as a weapon for collective bargaining. Actor Ryan Reynolds posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was looking forward to screaming “Scab” at his 8-year-old daughter all night. Scab is a derogatory term for someone who is not a member of a union and works at jobs that are targets of active strikes. He added that while she is not a member of the union, she “needs to learn”. A SAG-AFTRA representative said they came up with the costume recommendations in response to specific queries about how to support the strike and that the guidelines were not meant to “apply to anyone’s kids”.

Specific costumes to be avoided include Barbie and Ken, Wednesday Addams, characters from Netflix’s Stranger Things, characters from the Harry Potter franchise, Star Wars characters, and popular characters from HBO’s Game of Thrones. While some of these feel like old favorites at this point, Barbie, Ken, and Wednesday Addams are among the most popular costumes of 2023 due to being fan favorites this year.

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