Being the source of so much cinematic drama, it would seem unsurprising that Hollywood also offers up some industry-related drama of its own. The drama in question relates to SAG-AFTRA’s recent rules surrounding Halloween costumes, rules stipulating what unionized actors can and can’t wear. Ever the humorist, the always irreverent Ryan Reynolds took to X (formerly Twitter) to post a hilarious and pointed tweet at the rules’s expense.
Meanwhile, the SAG-AFTRA strike chugs along, approaching its 100th day.
As The Hollywood Reporter relates, the Deadpool actor joked about accusing his preteen daughter of being a “scab”—a somewhat derogatory term for a worker who crosses the picket line to work mid-strike—for presumably wearing a recognizable superhero costume.
Ryan Reynolds takes to social media to poke fun at SAG-AFTRA’s Halloween costume rules.
While the tweet is light-hearted and adds levity to a somewhat contentious situation—and, of course, it’s classic Ryan Reynolds, known for his wit as much as his acting chops—the situation it implies is a little less humorous. Several months into their labor dispute, the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) advanced controversial Halloween guidelines which more or less order its card-carrying actors to dress themselves in generic costumes—think “cowboy” or “firefighter,” instead of Batman or Barbie.
Why the party-pooping directive?
Essentially, it’s to prohibit any inadvertent promotion of characters and films from studios with which SAG-AFTRA is currently in dispute. Unsurprisingly, this enormous umbrella would encompass a majority of popular film culture beyond Deadpool/Ryan Reynolds.
For their part, SAG-AFTRA explained their policy as a mere measure to help members handle the intricacies and nuances of the labor dispute during the holiday season. Rather than a scheme to spoil trick-or-treating, the rules were implemented to curb any unintended promotion of “struck work.”
She didn’t mince words, accusing SAG-AFTRA of embarrassing itself and its members, before urging the union to resume negotiation in light of its members’ hardship.
The union also reiterated its commitment to finalizing negotiations, achieving a good deal, and moving forward. SAG-AFTRA also—notably for the children of actors—clarified that their rule does not apply to children.
Meaning Ryan Reynolds’s kids can, in fact, dress as his characters before snagging as much candy as possible.
Still, the new policies have garnered responses from actors and industry insiders, which haven’t necessarily been positive. For example, former SAG-AFTRA president Melissa Gilbert heavily criticized her union for their tactic and new policy.
She didn’t mince words, accusing SAG-AFTRA of embarrassing itself and its members, before urging the union to resume negotiation in light of its members’ hardship. First and foremost, though, the former union leader passionately begged SAG-AFTRA to nix the Halloween rule.
Also joining Ryan Reynolds was Mandy Moore, who took to her Instagram Stories to turn a critical eye to the union’s priorities, pleading with them to focus on negotiation on behalf of their members, and restart the countless jobs put on hold.
Meanwhile, the SAG-AFTRA strike chugs along, approaching its 100th day. For its part, the rift between the guild and studios remains as stark as ever, as recent talks concluded without a resolution.
The debate over Halloween costume regulations appears trivial, but it also underscores the pervasive complexities and challenges of the ongoing labor dispute. Were a major Hollywood star to dress as a recognizable character, then post a photo on social media—were Ryan Reynolds to don his Deadpool costume, snap a selfie, and put it on social media=—such a move could make major promotional waves, aiding the studios and irking the union.
Thus it’s understandable why SAG-AFTRA would want to avoid such indirect promotional content.