Dear Gossips,

As Lainey mentioned in What Else? yesterday, SAG-AFTRA has issued guidelines for Halloween costumes during the strike, which basically amount to “don’t dress up as a movie or TV character”. It sounds sort of killjoy-ish, but I wonder if they did so because they’re getting questions from members. 


When the strike(s) kicked off this summer, there was a lot of confusion around what did and didn’t qualify as promoting struck work, and SAG and the WGA were issuing a lot of guidelines about how to handle things like spon-con, personal appearances, and film festivals. As tempting as it is to dunk on Halloween costume rules, this does feel sort of like the early days when the guilds were constantly clarifying how to navigate striking while still operating in some capacity in the industry. 


But speaking of dunking on the Halloween costume rules, Ryan Reynolds came through with a fantastic response.


Lainey sent this to me, and it made me laugh, as it did her. Sometimes I think Ryan Reynolds is an underappreciated actor, sometimes I think he’s the 21st century’s best ad man who got sidetracked by being a Hollywood hunk, and sometimes I think he’s a standup comedian who, like Timothy Olyphant, is just too damn handsome for that job. This is one of those “in an alternate universe, he’s a standup” moments.

Speaking of the strike, some mega-stars, led by George Clooney, offered a proposal to SAG-AFTRA in an effort to fill the gap between what the guild is asking for in compensation and what the AMPTP is willing to offer. Basically, they want to remove the dues cap, with the idea being that the high-earning members would pay more in dues each year, thus pumping more money into the guild to benefit lower-earning members. The proposal also prioritized lower-earning actors getting their residuals before the higher-earning stars. Not bad ideas!


It does kind of sound like the byzantine nature of the guild structure might get in the way of removing the dues cap, but if the A-listers are willing to shoulder more of the dues-paying burden, perhaps this is the way to finding a compromise that doesn’t create a legal headache but still allows SAG-AFTRA to adjust their dues structure in some capacity. 

It amazes me, though, that it is fellow actors coming to the table with ideas on how to make compensation fairer and provide better for everyone, and not the AMPTP, which is, once again, made up dozens of companies, many of which earn actual tens of billions a year. They want to “get everyone back to work” except for how they refuse to pay people fairly for that work. Is anyone else getting sick of this refrain? How long can they insist they want to get people back to work but not resume negotiations?

Anyway, here’s Ryan Reynolds out and about in New York yesterday. 

Live long and gossip,