According to the strict rules outlined by SAG/AFTRA, that means card-carrying members are prohibited from dressing up as popular TV and movie characters from struck content, such as Barbie or Wednesday Addams, which could be perceived as promoting the work from the studios they are in negotiations with.
They are also discouraged from sharing on social media any family photos of them in costumes inspired by struck content.
Instead, they are encouraged to “choose costumes inspired by generalized characters and figures—ghost, zombie, spider, etc" or other non-struck content, like animated TV shows.
The union's newest strike guideline was met with backlash from celebrities, including This Is Us actor Mandy Moore, who wrote in an Instagram story:
“Is this a joke? Come on @sagaftra. This is what’s important?" she asked, adding:
"We’re asking you to negotiate in good faith on our behalf. So many folks across every aspect of this industry have been sacrificing mightily for months."
"Get back to the table and get a fair deal so everyone can get back to work.”
Reynolds, however, took a different approach by mocking the Halloween costume rule with his signature brand of sarcasm.
The Deadpool actor wrote on X (formerly Twitter):
"I look forward to screaming 'scab' at my 8 year old all night. She’s not in the union but she needs to learn."
People got a kick out of his sardonic humor in light of the ongoing strike.
Some went along with it.
Others shared suggestions that might better comply with the rule.
Former SAG/AFTRA President Melissa Gilbert was less amused and gave a more urgent response.
Rather than being concerned with Halloween costume rules, Gilbert suggested that union leaders focus more on the matter at hand so actors could get back to work.
She wrote on Instagram.
"THIS is what you guys come up with? Literally no one cares what anyone wears for Halloween."
"I mean, do you really think this kind of infantile stuff is going to end the strike?"
"We look like a joke. Please tell me you’re going to make this rule go away….and go negotiate!"
"For the love of God, people are suffering mightily and this is what you have to say…c’mon guys."
SAG/AFTRA had concluded their post with:
“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."
Here's a graphic list of Halloween dos and don'ts as outlined by SAG/AFTRA on their website.
By late Friday, after Reynolds posted his reaction to the rule, the union made a few edits to their post.
“SAG-AFTRA issued Halloween guidance in response to questions from content creators and members about how to support the strike during this festive season."
"This was meant to help them avoid promoting struck work, and it is the latest in a series of guidelines we have issued."
"It does not apply to anyone’s kids. We are on strike for important reasons, and have been for nearly 100 days."
"Our number one priority remains getting the studios back to the negotiating table so we can get a fair deal for our members, and finally put our industry back to work.”
The SAG/AFTRA strike is approaching its fourth month after talks with the studios broke off on Saturday without an agreement.
SAG/AFTRA union members joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on the picket line on July 14 over labor disputes with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
While the WGA strike came to an end on September 27 after reaching an agreement, SAG/AFTRA continues fighting for better wages and rights protections in the era of streaming and the proliferation of advanced AI.