Throughout the SAG-AFTRA strike action, we were keenly aware that the actors strike affected more than just the ability to make TV and movies; it also impacted actors’ ability to promote their work on struck projects, which meant essentially all big studio productions made in North America (and many made internationally, as well). That, in turn, meant that conventions had to relearn how actors could appear without accidentally breaking strike rules… and made for an interesting 2023 convention season.
San Diego Comic-Con, for example, was the first major convention to take place during the strike — and it was almost entirely devoid of big name celebrities, which made for a good show for comic sales and booth attendance, if nothing else. Just weeks later, all the parties involved were beginning to work things out, which meant that we’d become used to actors from certain shows appearing onstage together able to talk about everything except the show they appear in together. That’s not to disparage that in the slightest, because it led to some surprising and entertaining conversations about very unlikely topics along the way, and a chance to get to know the actors in a way that went beyond the traditional promotional push.
Let’s be honest: it’s fun to see actors excited about what they’ve been working on, and talking about the experiences they’ve had on set. It’s exciting, as fans, to know a little bit more about what’s coming up on our favorite shows, upcoming movies, or things that we’ve never heard about before — and, as the unfortunate fate of Blue Beetle demonstrates, sometimes a movie needs actors on a press tour to let people know what they’re going to be getting. Moreover, for those who have been doing the actor panels at conventions during the strike, there’s something very welcome indeed to not have to cut conversations short for fear that someone will say something they’re not supposed to.
For all these reasons, and more, it’s good to see that the actors’ strike is over. It’s far from the most important reason to be happy about the strike ending — we’ll take “the actors get better working conditions, more fair compensation, and some protection against the use of AI” for that particular slot, thank you very much — but there’s a genuinely freeing feeling about actors being able to be publicly proud of their work again, and being able to talk about it openly. It’s been months since we’ve been able to enjoy that kind of thing, and it’s about time that we had that particular joy available to us again. Who isn't ready to see what the 2024 convention season is like, with actors able to command San Diego's Hall H, or NYCC's Main Stage, again? Just imagine what the audience reaction is going to be like.
The real question, of course, is how quickly will Marvel Studios be able to get Iman Vellani out there to talk up The Marvels? You know she’s got things to say. Especially about that scene at the end of the movie (click on this link at your own risk)…
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