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Aspiring Actor Furious After Date Tells Him He Won’t Get Work If He Gets A Disney Sleeve Tattoo

Lucas Lenzi/Unsplash

It can be difficult to refrain from giving advice when we know someone might be misguided.

But for one woman on Reddit, her offering unsolicited but valid advice to a date about his acting career ended up offending the guy.

She wasn’t sure about how she’d handled the situation, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for telling a date they can’t get casted as an actor if they have tattoos of copywrited material?”

She explained:

“Okay so I (22f[emale]) went on a date with with a guy (20m[ale]) who was going to a local university for theater, and was telling me he wanted to be an actor.”

“Acting is a hard profession to get into but hey maybe he’s good idk. But later on during the date he told me he made an appointment to start a Disney themed sleeve on his arm.”

“I said to him ‘don’t you think that’ll hurt your acting career? Disney is really strict about their copy write infringement.'”

“And he said ‘they can just cover it with makeup’ so I told him ‘it’s not easy to covert tattoos though and a whole sleeve will be a lot of work and expensive.'”

“‘That would probably be something you’d have to wait to do until you’re successful because they won’t be willing to put in that much work for a newbie.'”

“And this clearly pissed him off. I wasn’t trying to tell him what to do or tell him he’ll fail I was just trying to offer good advice so he can achieve his goals. So AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Responses varied widely, with many people saying OP was in the right and many others saying her concerns were unwarranted.

“NTA for potentially saving him from a Disney themed sleeve period.” –LDeadIt

“Ha ha. I’ve never understood tattoos of corporate logos or similar!”

“NTA for sound advice. Why give casting directors even a small reason not to pick you?” –Daveii_Captain

“Yeah, I wouldn’t go on another date with a dude who told me he was getting a Disney sleeve. Yikes!” –catinnameonly

“Ok so I’ve lived and worked in the field of entertainment for years. Tattoos don’t matter and if you are worried bill Nye make up make tattoo cover in all skin colors.”

“5 mind at most and the majority of the sleeve can be gone. Had ton of friends even friends who were getting the graduate degree who had tattoos.”

“They just also had the make up and took the 5 mins to cover the before auditions. And if it is something he will love forever then I don’t actually see how someone who has no entertainment experience giving bad info is being helpful.”

“If you’re not an actor or technician stay in your lane we know what will work and what won’t.”

“And newbie or not if he has the chops and can network and is likeable people will work with him because unfortunately the ones with the names can be a much bigger headache because of ego.” –loulabug247

“Hey now, if it’s taking from all of Disney’s properties, then it could be pretty bada**. Snowwhite and seven dwarfs gritty like, pulp fiction, star wars, Moana, like…”

“You could make a pretty sick sleeve with Disney theme. Indo agree that it had to be done right though.”

“Though I would more call this ‘soft Yta’ cause she was telling him he’s fail and shouldn’t do it.”

“Sleeves aren’t actually that difficult to cover up and you’d be surprised at he number of actors who are tatted up with ‘copyrighted’ material and have been for years.” –fieryxx

“‘He can use makeup to cover it’ no production team is going to willingly cast someone they know they will have to do extensive coverup work on.”

“And yes, covering a sleeve is considered extensive.”

“Edit: since y’all are mad, no production team is going to cast an actor that has no name for himself and spend an hour covering a sleeve.”

“It’s not as time-consuming as a lot of movie makeup, but a whole sleeve is considered extensive.”

“If he wants to cover it himself, he has to learn color correction, powdering, and how to properly set it so it won’t transfer to wardrobe. No production team will do this for an actor with no reputation.” –axthetix

“Yup. Unless the guy is already known or he just makes the most astronomically amazing audition, most casting agents are just going to go for someone who will be easier to cast in the role.”

“There’s probably some wiggle room if the actor will be fully clothed, but even then they may just go for the easier option of hiring someone without tattoos.”

“This will also close him off from roles where the casting call specifically calls for no tattoos, meaning that if you have ’em, don’t bother showing up.”

“He maybe could do it himself, but that takes a lot of time and money to do it well, as he’d had to take into consideration sweating and ensuring the makeup doesn’t rub off.” –SquirrelGirlVA

“Actually not true. If they like the actor well enough and he fits the role it’s really NBD.”

“If it’s a background extra they will likely just have them wear a long sleeve shirt.”

“Would it be easier to just not have have tattoos? Yes. But today tattoos are so common it’s not even a second thought anymore.”

“Source: I work in the industry.” –jenderfleur

“I used to be a model and did some acting and have tonnes of tattoos. I would either cover it myself or the makeup artist would do it. They’re willing if they like you enough.” –Meltmoth_Milton

“LMAO Have you worked in film/TV?? This is not ‘extensive’ by any means.”

“In fact, it’s something the actor can do themselves. I’ve seen extras get their tattoos covered up/altered by HMU to avoid copyright issues.” –2drums1cymbal

“NTA – you asked him a valid question. You showed that you were interested in what he was saying and actually thought about the things he was talking about. I have no way of knowing your tone, but it sounds like he was being the AH.”

“Basically, when you point out the flaw in someone’s plan – especially one so aspirational as professional acting/theater – and they have a fit like this, it seems more like they just don’t like having the flaws pointed out rather than being interested in succeeding.”

“Not sure if I’d want to be in relationship with that type of person.” –AnybodyMassive16

“if he’s a newbie he’s going to be doing his own tattoo makeup cover-up… not everyone gets professional airbrushing at the start” –voidgirl_cate

“omg the amount of faulty logics here.”

“NTA. he said A, you responded with B. it’s a bloody conversation.”

“and for everyone else. you don’t need to be an expert to have common sense. he mentioned getting a Disney tattoo. she responded with her common logic opinion. the end.”

“and yes. no one will cast you if your tattoo is extra work and you’re a beginner” –TazuyaYu

“There is a difference between showing concern and fully overstepping. The first response was fine, but it’s when she started pushing it that made it uncomfortable.”

“You are on a date. You are getting to KNOW this person. You don’t immediately go ‘well no one will higher you in the career industry you dream of because of this possibility that I know nothing about’.”

“She basically just fully discouraged a person she barely knows. Even if the comment was ‘helpful’, it’s just out of place.” –moni_talksstuff

“A lot depends on the tattoo size and location. Their first choice ill always be to cover a tattoo up with clothing. And to the extent that a particular role is clothed on that area, the role would remain fully open with no issues.”

“Makeup does exist that can mask a tattoo. However, it will cost extra, and even if not a significant part of the total budget, it’s an extra line item that someone will have to buy in, so there’s admin.”

“However, while on a theatre stage it won’t be noticeable (or can be presented as part of the overall “theatrical” makeup), for TV/cinema work, especially with the modern trend to freeze frame and zoom in on details, at the very least it will be clear that theatrical makeup was used.”

“Because of this, if a role would require extra effort beyond clothing to cover a problematic tattoo, and two candidates are equal except one has a tattoo and the other doesn’t, they will pick the one who doesn’t.”

“I don’t have solid information on exactly how much talent and experience is required to overcome this hurdle, but I can’t see any good reason for someone to make their preferred career harder to break into.”

“btw, a lot of common high street makeup will melt under the heat of TV studio lighting. You can’t just cover it up with the cheap stuff.”


“Source: I have a friend who is involved in theatre.” –Emotional_Ebb8321

Hopefully OP can avoid this drama on future dates.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.