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Adam Sandler's Hubie Halloween cost a newscaster her job

People play fictionalized versions of themselves in scripted movies and TV series all the time. Newscasters especially feature in film and television so often it's literally a trope at this point. Figures ranging from H.V. Kaltenborn in 1938's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to Pat Kiernan in Spider-Man: Far From Home have shown up across cinematic history — but that doesn't mean a newscaster can just show up in a movie without permission.

Alaina Pinto, a former 7 News traffic reporter in Boston, learned the hard way that not all movie appearances are created equal. She recently appeared in the Adam Sandler Netflix film Hubie Halloween playing an anchor on the fictional "Wake Up Boston" show. The joke in the film is that, since it's Halloween, the anchors are dressed up — but they're all dressed up as Margot Robbie's Suicide Squad version of Harley Quinn. If you've ever been to a comic book convention, you know that Harley Quinn and Deadpool are two of the most common costumes you'll see.

Unfortunately for Alaina Pinto, it would seem that her employers did not see the humor in her appearance, as she revealed this week on Twitter that she was fired.

How do you lose a job over an Adam Sandler movie?

On October 15, 2020, Alaina Pinto explained her story on Twitter. "Hi Friends!" she wrote. "I have some news to share. Earlier this week I was let go from 7 News. I am posting this because I want to be open and honest with all of you. Last year, I participated in a cameo in the recently released Netflix movie by Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween. In doing so, I mistakenly violated my contract with the station and I understand why management unfortunately chose to terminate me. I am deeply disappointed and saddened, and I hoped this would not be how things evolved."

A basic explanation if you need it: most people who appear on television in a capacity that represents a brand or network sign a contract before they do so. Contracts have all sorts of things in them, but one thing that's pretty standard is a section which relates to what other content you can create elsewhere. In this case, Pinto's contract likely stipulated that she either could not appear as herself in a news capacity elsewhere, or that she would need official permission to do so.

It's important to note that Pinto says the station "chose to terminate me" and that she hoped "this would not be how things evolved." 7 News did not have to fire Pinto, it's only that her contract gave them the right to do so.

Pinto is taking the news in stride, writing, "Thanks to all my wonderful 7 News viewers and my supportive and great colleagues at the station. Reporting the news to you every morning was an honor and a privilege. I promise to stay in touch and keep you updated on the next chapter — the future is bright!"