Already widely mocked on social media, SAG-AFTRA‘s infamous Halloween costume guidance received more drubbing on Saturday Night Live.
In a trick-or-treating skit, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, played by SNL‘s Sarah Sherman, explained the controversial rules that ban members from wearing costumes from studio movies and live-action TV series during the strike and presented safe alternatives for kids.
Telling kids dressed like Barbie, Spider-Man and Black Panther “a bunch of adorable scabs,” Sherman as Drescher introduced other costumes: “Harry Potter as described only in the books,” “minor characters from the Bible who have not appeared in any movie or TV adaptations”, and daytime and reality personalities. (“Unfortunately, this year, you can’t be Yoda but you can be Hoda [Kotb].”)
Drescher (Sherman) also explained how “with small adjustments,” any costumes can be made strike-friendly. For instance, if you are dressed as Wolverine, “just drop the claws, and wah-lah, you are any gay guy over 50.”
After a subtle jab at Drescher’s ubiquitous presence during the strike, which people have found “exhausting,” Sherman, as the SAG-AFTRA President, provided a Halloween-themed take on the studio talks, which have showed signs of progress, stretching over the weekend, and on actors’ demands.
“Negotiating with the studios is a lot like trick-or-treating,” she said. “You know how you go to the biggest house on the block, and all the lights are off, and they are pretending that they are not home? But you can see them through the window eating KitKat bars, dozens of KitKat bars, billions of KitKat bars, record numbers of KitKat bars. All us actors are saying, break me off a piece of that KitKat bar.
The skit ended with a nod to Drescher’s signature character from The Nanny. (You can watch it above.)
SAG-AFTRA’s original Halloween guidance, which included recommendations such as “Choose costumes inspired by generalized characters and figures (ghost, spider, spider, etc.) characters” and “Dress up as characters from non-struck content, such as animated TV shows,” received instant backlash from actors, including Ryan Reynolds, Mandy Moore and former SAG President Melissa Gilbert.
The guild subsequently issued a statement, clarifying that the policy “does not apply to anyone’s kids.”