Disney Defies SAG-AFTRA Strike with Starless “Haunted Mansion” World Premiere

Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” premiered at Disneyland in Anaheim on Saturday night, making it the first major studio premiere to take place since the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike. Despite the absence of the movie’s stars, who were observing the strike, Disney rolled out the red carpet for the event. Director Justin Simien expressed his support for the actors walkout, although he was disappointed that the cast couldn’t attend. The premiere included a two-hour carpet, a pre-reception, and a screening at the Hyperion Theatre.

The event also featured amusement park performers dressed as villains such as the Evil Queen, Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil, as well as appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. If Disney had canceled the premiere, it would have risked losing revenue from corporate sponsors and disappointing guests who had already RSVP’d for the event.

The premiere took place just a day after Fran Drescher criticized Disney boss Bob Iger for his comments about the striking workers. Drescher called his remarks “repugnant” and “out of touch” and expressed her disapproval of his high salary. Both Drescher and Simien expressed their willingness to engage in a conversation with Iger to discuss the realities faced by artists.

The absence of the expected stars at the premiere resulted in a significant reduction in the number of photographers and reporters covering the event. While SAG-AFTRA forbids performers from engaging in promotional activities during strikes, some actors, such as Rosario Dawson, welcomed the premiere as an opportunity to bring more visibility to their cause.

“Haunted Mansion” is a film inspired by the famous Disney theme park ride of the same name. Despite the challenges posed by the SAG-AFTRA strike, the movie is set to be released in theaters on July 28. Other premieres and promotional activities surrounding films and TV shows have been affected by the strike, with some red carpet events being canceled or modified.

In conclusion, despite the absence of its stars, Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” premiered successfully at Disneyland in Anaheim. The studio supported the actors’ walkout, and the event proceeded as planned, with amusement park performers and Disney characters adding to the atmosphere. The actors, including LaKeith Stanfield and Tiffany Haddish, missed the premiere due to the strike, but the movie is still set for a theatrical release later this month. The SAG-AFTRA strike has caused changes to other red carpet events, with some being canceled or modified to adapt to the circumstances. As the strike continues, actors and industry professionals remain committed to fighting for fair treatment and just compensation.