The looming Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike is official as of 12:01am on July 14. This is the first SAG-AFTRA strike since 1980, and the first time SAG and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are on strike together since 1960. In case you need help understanding how long ago that was, Ronald Regan was the SAG president at the time.
With this strike, basically every scripted TV and film production is now halted if it involves a member of the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). Considering the major four U.S. networks and nearly every major studio in Hollywood is represented there, a good chunk of Hollywood is officially shut down.
What may surprise people though is the disappearance of movie premieres over the coming weeks. Many may not realize, but press tours and movie/TV premieres are typically included in SAG contracts. Now that those members are on strike, goodbye celebrity-filled premieres and iconic press junket interviews. Especially those leading up to the release of Barbie.
With the SAG-AFTRA strike in effect as of July 14, a week before the film’s release, it’s expected that none of Barbie‘s all-star cast will be making any future appearances in support of the film. Miss Barbie herself, Margot Robbie, even said during the London premiere of the film that she would absolutely be joining the strike if it were to occur.
The WGA has been on strike since May, so many stars have already been abandoning press junkets and premieres in solidarity. Barbie writer Noah Baumbach was notably absent from the film’s LA premiere in solidarity with the WGA. Director Greta Gerwig praised Baumbach for her partner’s commitment to the guild, noting that she also supports the WGA’s ongoing strike.
This is far from a problem for Barbie, as the internet is doing a lot of the legwork promoting the film across social media. Plus, the film is due in theaters a week after the strike starts, so filming has long been completed. But what this does mean is the iconic looks we’ve been getting from Robbie at each premiere are coming to an end, as well as the meme-able interviews from the star-studded cast.
At almost every Barbie press junket or premiere so far, Robbie has been rocking looks inspired by the Mattel doll, down to even the minute details. From bringing back the iconic black-and-white stripped swimsuit shown in the teaser, to wearing Vivienne Westwood designs that look like the 1960 “Enchanted Evening” version of Barbie, fans are eating up every look.
Of course, when discussing the Barbie press, you can’t help but talk about the iconic quotes coming out of these interviews. From Ryan Gosling discussing the “Ken-ergy” he brought to the role, to the Barbie sleepover vs Ken workout day, to the crazy sets literally causing a shortage of pink paint, every fact out of this movie seems fake, yet it isn’t.
Unfortunately, both of these facets will be disappearing from the public conversation after July 14. While Robbie is the only cast member to have openly commented on the SAG-AFTRA strike, many of the other actors are proud SAG members. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the cast picketing together come Friday morning, alongside the rest of the SAG-AFTRA’s over 160,000 affected members.