How Comic Cons Are Continuing Amid SAG-AFTRA Actors Strike

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Comic Cons are still pushing on giving fans and creators the opportunity to connect amid the actors’ strike.

Comic Cons have never been more popular with a resurgence of specific conventions for favorite television shows, movie franchises, and artists. 

With the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike which became official on July 14, how do they stay in line with the rules set in place by the union? In order to be compliant, actors may not promote any past, present, or future film/television works. They can attend these fan events only if it was not part of their studio contract, directly working with the studios, and if they don’t specifically talk about anything specifically related to their shows.

How Comic Cons Are Modified

For Creation Entertainment, a leader in the convention industry, The Vampire Diaries Reunion Convention in Orlando, Florida was one of the first conventions to take place since the strike began. Changes were made to promotional materials in person with “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” logos blacked out with tape. The convention was still able to sell the already-made merchandise with the logos to attendees. 

While the actors could not talk about the television shows, fans got creative with questions during the Q&A panels. Some would use terms like “hypothetically” or generic terms to refer to characters. Actor Matt Davis joking referred to the show as “The Eternal Journal.” Other fans opted for learning about the actors’ other interests. Some of the stars spoke about the strike and its impacts. They discussed the lack of residuals and the potential consequences of Artificial Intelligence. 

Although most conventions talk about the specific projects that the creatives have worked on, it was unique to see fans get creative and learn more about the panelists as human beings. Hearing unique questions about playlists, first dates, pets, and travels, was a treat. 

Other conventions have posted statements regarding any modifications or updates to their upcoming events. Most of the events are planning on moving forward as long as the studios are not involved. 

Epic Conventions is set to hold its first Chicago event on July 22. What was originally named One Chicago has been updated to “Epic Pop Up.” The lineup includes entertainers from various franchises instead of the original Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D. lineup. Notably, two of the stars, Nick Gehlfuss and Jesse Lee Soffer decided to cancel their appearances due to the strike.

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMY.com GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring. JacklynKrol.com