Hollywood actors are on strike. Many social media influencers joined them. So what happens now?
The actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, has allowed selected creators to join since 2021 under its influencer program. And many influencers work directly with movie studios and other Hollywood entities, who pay them to promote shows and movies, whether it’s on TikTok, YouTube, or the red carpet.
Well, not anymore.
This week, SAG-AFTRA announced a specific Guidelines for influencers during the strike. The rules are broad. Influencers are advised “not to accept any new work promoting the affected companies or their content”. That means no TikToks about Barbenheimer or red carpet walks for “Meg 2: The Trench.”
SAG does not care whether influencers are paid for those posts. Any posts about the hit work are considered crossing the picket line. An influencer making a “get ready with me” video by donning a pink dress and heading to the stage to watch Barbie could be a violation — and anyone thought to have crossed the picket line will be banned from joining the SAG in the future.
A number of the creators I spoke to this week see joining the union as a goal they don’t want to jeopardize.
The creators are divided. Some have gone completely Norma Ray, outright rejecting lucrative deals and encouraging their viewers to support the strike. Others have no interest in joining the SAG and are likely to continue with business as usual, or doubt that consequences will ever emerge.
“I think this is an empty threat,” Jesse Grossman, founder of the communication group Women in Influencer Marketing, told me. Implementation of this would be impossible. “
Erin Orci, who describes herself as a “mini-content creator,” went A little bit viral on TikTok after it announced it had turned down a potential $5,000 sponsored partnership from a company that works with a major superhero franchise. For Orsi, who has just under 20,000 followers, that’s a lot more money than you usually get to post. However, I took a pass.
“I’m trying to push this to be a full-time thing,” Orci said. “I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t want to close the door on an opportunity like joining a guild.”
Darcy Michael, one half of the comedy duo Darcy and GereHe told me that a network had offered him a $25,000 sponsorship deal in the days leading up to the strike. He was interested at first, especially given that the rate was higher than usual for such work, but eventually refused to pursue it further after realizing that the impending strike was likely what raised the rate. (Michael lives in Vancouver and works for ACTRA, the Canadian equivalent of SAG-AFTRA.)
I told my team, I was like, ‘In no uncertain terms until the strike is over. Michael said.
“I also feel that this strike in particular is massive for all industries,” he added. “I think we’re leading the pack in making sure workers are protected, especially from AI interference. If it means we’ll pinch our coins for a few months, we’ll pinch our pennies.”
Influencers who indicated in videos that they plan to ignore the guidelines found the online backlash to be swift and blunt. At least two entertainment content creators, incl @employee And @employeeI already deleted these videos. The latter now has “SAG-AFTRA Strong” as his TikTok profile picture.
“I spoke way too early on my page and upset a lot of people,” Colin Everett, aka @collinnurrmom, wrote in an email when asked about the now-deleted videos. He added, “I don’t think I’m experimenting.”
Some young creators are completely confused. Rosa Romero runs a TikTok page of memes about TV shows including “The Bear” and “Succession.” “It’s really hard to classify myself as an influencer in this field,” Romero said. “It’s really just my personal page that accidentally ended up having 11,000 followers.”
Romero sent an email to SAG-AFTRA asking if it would still be a good idea to release information on films made before the strike went into effect (specifically, “Barbie”). However, Romero still worries that doing so could lead to a backlash online. “Any questions or clarification are treated like someone trying to cross the picket line,” Romero said. “It’s just unfortunate.”
John Montrobio, a senior advisor at Loeb & Loeb LLP that advises influencers and advertisers, said the company has answered questions from influencers and brands about how the strike will affect them.
People who are not in the union and don’t have their hearts set on joining have a decision to make, Monterobio said. He said, “They are not legally bound one way or the other, but they should consider how their decision will affect them in the future.”
He added that influencers aren’t the only ones stumped: “The various agreements are very complex, even for lawyers familiar with them.”
Here’s what else is happening online this week.
This section is only about ice cream now
I promise, we have non-dairy interests. Although we wrote about milk-themed beauty last week. and Grimace milkshakes the week before. Sometimes a TikTok trend is just too good to share.
Look at this type which features ice cream parlor employees hurling frozen desserts at each other. The format goes like this: the customer tells the cashier that they have been given the wrong order. The cashier apologizes, then turns around and shoots the incorrect order at a co-worker’s face. splat(Don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen the video with the audio on. Audio is important.)
What appears to have been started by a few kids trolling their summer jobs has been eagerly adopted by ice cream parlors across the country. Vendors in Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma have it all Hop on trend.
If you find yourself behind Dairy Queen Counter-Just remember to bow down.
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