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Actor's strike impacts Comic-Con, with several panels canceled

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-13 20:41:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Comic-Con, which was already seeing significant impacts from a Hollywood writer's strike, is now seeing further effects after SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors, went on strike Thursday afternoon.

Far fewer big-name celebrities had been scheduled for Comic-Con this year, due to fears that the strikes would happen. Most major studios elected not to have their customary San Diego presence, forgoing traditional star-studded panels in the Convention Center's famous Hall H.

But within hours of Thursday's strike announcement, several of the panels and autograph signings that were on the schedule were canceled, including Amazon Prime's "Good Omens", a 25th anniversary cast reunion with actors from "That 70's Show", and even a performance by the Muppets of "Sesame Street".

“It’s going to be super awkward. It’s going to be an awkward time to be down there, to be trying to navigate the rules and restrictions," actor Leonardo Nam told ABC 10News. Nam is a former La Jolla resident who has previously attended Comic-Con thanks to his roles in beloved genre shows such as "Westworld".

“Everybody has had a passionate journey in this industry and to come to this point of a strike is not something that’s easily done," Nam said. "It’s a very fine line between supporting your project and also supporting the union and the longevity of our work and the dignity of the workers that are in it.”

There will still be some celebrity star power at Comic-Con. Some actors are still scheduled to appear to support non-television and movie projects, including Oscar-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis and actor/comedian Patton Oswalt, who are attending events to plug their graphic novel and comic book efforts, and Star Trek legend William Shatner, who is scheduled for a Hall H panel to discuss a documentary about his life.

Other impacts are also possible due to the strike. “I would be shocked if there aren’t picket lines," Variety Senior Writer Adam B. Vary told ABC 10News. "I think that that has been a really powerful tool of the guilds to shut stuff down. That might throw a wrench into the whole convention.”

In a statement to ABC 10News, Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer wrote "We share the disappointment that a resolution could not be reached that would have avoided the current situation. We do reiterate our hope that a solution can be found that will prove beneficial to all those affected so they can return to the work they love. We are excited that Comic-Con is only a matter of days away and we look forward to the expansive Exhibit Hall, the countless hours of programming, and the comradery that makes Comic-Con such a fun and unique community and experience."