Stephen Amell joins SAG-AFTRA strike after backlash over his comments

Aug 12, 2023 08:52 AM IST

Arrow star Stephen Amell joins SAG-AFTRA strike line in New York City, after facing criticism for previous remarks about the strike.

Stephen Amell, the Arrow star, has joined his fellow actors on the SAG-AFTRA strike line. He was seen on Friday outside the Warner Bros. Discovery building in New York City, wearing a union shirt and holding a sign.

Stephen Amell went from criticizing to joining the SAG-AFTRA strike( JOHN NACION/GETTY)
Stephen Amell went from criticizing to joining the SAG-AFTRA strike( JOHN NACION/GETTY)

This comes after Amell faced criticism in July for his remarks about the strike at Galaxycon. He said he supported his union, but he did not support striking. He also complained about the union’s rules that prevent him from promoting his current or past SAG work.

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“I support my union, I do. And I stand with them. I do not support striking. I don’t,” he said.

“I think that it is a reductive negotiating tactic. I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating. I think the thinking as it pertains to shows — like the show that I’m on that premiered last night — I think it’s myopic.”

His comments angered some of his former Arrowverse colleagues, who took to social media to express their disappointment.

Kirk Acevedo, who played Ricardo Diaz on Arrow, tweeted, “This f***ing guy.”

Matt Lescher, who portrayed Eobard Thawne on Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, wrote, “Still waiting on that comprehensive list of totally non-reductive negotiating tactics we get to employ now. Thank god for superheroes! Any second now….”

The Arrow star later tried to explain his comments in a lengthy Instagram post. He said he supported his union “unconditionally” and acknowledged that his words could be taken out of context.

“I understand fundamentally why we’re here,” he wrote.

“My off the cuff use of the word ‘support’ is clearly contradictory to my true feelings and my emphatic statement that I stand with my union. Of course I don’t like striking. Nobody does. But we have to do what we have to do.”

The 42-year-old actor added that he was speaking spontaneously for over an hour and that he did not think the issues were simple. He thanked the union leadership for their work and said he understood the strike from an “intellectual perspective,” but he still found it “emotionally frustrating” for him and others. He ended his post in the comments section by reaffirming his solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.

“At least for the foreseeable future, I choose to stand with my union,” he wrote. "When you see me on a picket line please don’t whip any hard fruit.”

SAG-AFTRA has been striking since July 14, along with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which started striking on May 2.

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The actors are demanding better pay and residuals from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), as well as more control over artificial intelligence and other issues.

Many celebrities have shown their support for the strike by joining the picket lines, such as Mariska Hargitay, Hilary Duff, Francia Raisa, Bryan Cranston, and Jason Sudeikis.

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