Strikes Hit Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Guests Receive “Scary” Notice

in Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance

Credit: Universal Studios

With both writers and actors currently on strike, guests at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights are feeling the impact.

Hollywood came to a standstill in May when the Writers Guild of America officially went on strike for the first time in over a decade. Determined to push for fairer pay in the streaming era – not to mention security amid the growth of AI – the union is yet to agree with the industry’s biggest studios.

Writers picketing in front of the entrance of Walt Disney Company Writers Strike, WGA Strike
Credit: ufcw770 via Wikimedia Commons

Related: Disney Increases Foreign Hiring During Entertainer Strike

Writers were joined by actors in July when SAG-AFTRA announced that it would also go on strike. Like the writers, actors are in the middle of an ongoing labor dispute – this time with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Also like the writers, they’re concerned about the impact of streaming on residuals, as well as AI and digital recreation.

While theme parks like Universal Studios and Disneyland are largely inspired by the worlds created by writers and actors, they’ve so far remained relatively unaffected by the strikes. In July, Disney was forced to change the Haunted Mansion (2023) premiere at California Adventure into a fan event when actors were unable to attend. Meanwhile, Universal Studios Hollywood has previously been picketed by actors.

Characters climb the stairs in a poster for Disney's upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' (2023)
Credit: Disney

Now, the strikes have hit Halloween Horror Nights. The seasonal ticketed event kicked off at Universal Studios Hollywood yesterday (September 7), with guests enjoying five different haunted houses inspired by the likes of Stranger ThingsThe Last of Us,  and The Exorcist (1973). The event also served as a reminder of the writers whose work made this theme park possible.

Guests run away from a monster at Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: Disney Cast Members Attacked For “Scabbing” During Actors Strike

X (formerly known as Twitter) user Andrew J. Salazar shared an image of flyers distributed by entertainment industry workers during the event describing how they’re “dying to get back to making the movies and shows you love to watch” but Universal “refuses to pay [them] justly for [their] significant contribution to the abundant success they’ve had off [their] creations.”

Just arrived to the opening night festivities for Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and the WGA is out here bringing awareness to the strikes with these flyers.

Definitely worth a read and share to your friends and family who plan on attending Horror Nights soon!

The flyer also noted that the “scary” thing is that “Universal and other major studios have kept [them] from working for over 125 days” and are “unwilling to make a deal that fairly compensates writers.”

It went on to remind horror fans that “the rides and attractions [they’ll] be enjoying tonight are based on movies and television series that were created by writers.” If Universal were to pay writers what they’re currently asking for, “it would cost them just .027% of their revenues.”

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance during Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal Studios

The flyer concluded by asking Halloween Horror Nights guests to “take a moment to acknowledge the contribution of writers to the experience.”

Are you attending Halloween Horror Nights this year? Let us know what you’re most excited about in the comments!

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