The SAG Strike and Its Potential Impact on Fan Conventions
Updated: Jul 14
In an unprecedented move, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has announced a strike, marking the most substantial shutdown Hollywood has witnessed in over 60 years. With the walkout, a staggering 160,000 performers are set to halt work until terms that facilitate a fairer split of profits , particularly from streaming giants, are established. While the impact of this decision on film and television production is glaringly obvious, its effects on fan conventions may not be as clear. Here, we'll take a look at how the strike might affect your beloved fan conventions and the actors you love to see there.
Convention appearances by actors typically serve as a platform for self-promotion rather than for the studios they work for. (San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, and a few other convention giants are the exception to this). While this might sound limiting at first, it actually opens up exciting opportunities for convention-goers. Actors are still permitted to sign autographs, participate in photo ops, and even take part in panels, as long as they avoid discussing their future projects, even during the SAG strike.
For example, an actor like Wes Anderson, beloved for his work on "The Expanse," would be free to talk about acting in general, his personal life, funny anecdotes we all love to hear, his favorite cheeseburger toppings, and even the strike if he wanted to. However, if asked about his role in the upcoming "Ashoka" TV series, he would have to politely decline comment. This might seem odd to fans eager for behind-the-scenes details, but it's a matter of professional solidarity. By refusing to talk about upcoming projects, actors are effectively refusing to "cross the picket line," thereby demonstrating respect for their fellow actors who have also opted to strike.
However, the current situation presents a silver lining, particularly for fan conventions and their attendees. As many actors are temporarily unable to continue their usual acting jobs, they might seek opportunities for self-promotion elsewhere. This could lead to an increase in actor participation in conventions. Fans might even have the chance to meet celebrities who typically shy away from the convention circuit. Such rare appearances could make the upcoming season of conventions uniquely exciting and memorable.
While it's important to recognize that the strike may present some challenges and disruptions to the industry, it's equally vital to appreciate the potential it has to diversify and enrich fan experiences at conventions. It's a unique moment in entertainment history, and we should stay open to the opportunities it may provide.
Please keep in mind that it's in everyone's best interest to respect the decisions of the striking actors. It is their right to fight for what they feel is best for their union, and our understanding and support as fans can only strengthen their cause.