Disney’s Haunted House premiere, held at Disneyland on Saturday night, faced a change in plans due to a strike by actors’ union SAG-AFTRA. The event, which was supposed to feature a star-studded red carpet, had to proceed without the attendance of the cast members.
Despite the absence of the actors, Disney decided to continue with the premiere, utilizing beloved theme park characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Maleficent, Snow White’s Evil Queen, and Cruella for the red carpet photos. Attendees, including influencers and special guests, also enjoyed private access to the Haunted Mansion attraction.
Director Justin Simien, along with producers and executives, arrived later during the event. Simien spoke briefly to the press, expressing his mixed feelings about the situation. He acknowledged the importance of supporting the actors’ strike while also expressing pride in the cast and their work.
Following the red carpet, a screening took place at California Adventure’s Hyperion Theater. Simien took the stage, sharing his gratitude for his co-workers and Disney executives. He also made light-hearted remarks about other ongoing events, including RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and the strike.
The strike was announced by SAG-AFTRA after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached an impasse. The union criticized the offered agreement, citing issues such as pay, benefits, and protections for actors’ digital likenesses.
Although the situation was complex, the premiere continued with a unique twist, demonstrating the resilience and adaptability of the entertainment industry.