The “Arrow” star, 42, is facing backlash for now-viral remarks he made at GalaxyCon in North Carolina over the weekend in which he seemed to suggest he isn’t in favor of the union’s decision to stop working.
“I support my union, I do, and I stand with them. I do not support striking. I think that it is a reductive negotiating tactic, and I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating. And I think that the thinking as it pertains to shows, like shows I’m on that premiered last night, I think that it is myopic,” he said, according to social media video from the event.
“i stand with my union but i don’t like strikes” -Stephen Amell pic.twitter.com/M1sZCJjzz3
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Amell appeared to be referencing Season 2 of his Starz series “Heels,” which premiered on July 29. He has been unable to promote the show due to strike rules that forbid members from publicly discussing film or TV projects.
After some fans and followers called out what they saw as hypocrisy and short-sightedness from Amell, he took to Instagram on Tuesday to explain himself further and “ensure no misunderstanding” about his intent.
“I understand fundamentally why we’re here. 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,” he wrote in part.
Adding, “I’m an actor and I was speaking extemporaneously for over an hour. I emote, but I certainly don’t think these issues are simple. Our leadership has an incredibly complicated job and I am grateful for all that they do. Despite some of my terrible early acting work, I assure you, I’m not a robot. From an intellectual perspective, I understand why we are striking, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t emotionally frustrating on many levels for all involved.”
Amell continued his point-by-point clarification in the comment section, specifically noting his use of the word “myopic” and admitted that he wasn’t speaking as eloquently as he would have liked.
“Perhaps it was an inarticulate shoutout to our crew and cast, who mean the world to me. I’m simply sad that we don’t have a chance to celebrate a show that all of us figuratively and I literally, broke my back for,” he shared.
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Amell concluded his post with an acknowledgment of the criticism and reiterated that he does, in fact, support SAG-AFTRA and implied that he may soon be among his fellow celebrities gathering with other members outside studios and network headquarters across Los Angeles and New York.
“As I said from the jump, I want to ensure that my thoughts and intentions are not misconstrued. This situation reminds of the proverb, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions,’ which apparently, after reading a limited amount of the commentary, is a place many of you would like me to visit. However, at least for the foreseeable future, I choose to stand with my union. When you see me on a picket line please don’t whip any hard fruit,” he wrote.
The SAG-AFTRA strike went into effect last month after the actors’ union failed to reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture Television Producers regarding various contract stipulations for film and TV performers, including streaming residuals and the use of AI.
Union president Fran Drescher said on Tuesday’s “Today” that SAG-AFTRA is prepared to continue the strike for six months if necessary.
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