Prior to the outrage surrounding The Flash stars Hartley Sawyer and Danielle Panabaker, Stephen Amell was the first in a string of actors from DC’s shared television universe to face backlash from their fanbase.

Fans accused the Arrow star of racism after sharing his personal thoughts on the recent protests and riots occurring in the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

On June 1st, Amell published the latest episode of “How’d You Do It?”, a relatively new weekly podcast hosted by Amell and Nocking Point winery co-founder Andrew Harding in which the two sit down with a “leader, entrepreneur, educator, activist, politician, actor, writer, elite specialist, doctor, or athlete and ask them a dozen specific questions about precisely how they accomplished what they’re known for.”

The episode was initially set to feature a guest appearance by Grant Gustin, but after Amell announced that The Flash star had postponed his appearance after feeling “with everything going on in Los Angeles, that maybe this wasn’t the appropriate time to spend 45 talking about how he became such a giant, loveable television star.”

Instead Amell and Harding discussed the preceeding “weekend of pain, protesting, and nationwide outrage.”

Fans quickly took issue with many of the discussion points brought up by Amell in the podcast, including his admittance that “racism is a systemic problem, but I’m not as familiar with it just because I haven’t seen it in action, personally.”

Amell also stated “that, for me personally, [police brutality has] been overshadowed by gun violence […] simply because that doesn’t happen [in Canada]”:

Amell states, “Racism is a systemic problem, but I’m not as familiar with it just because I haven’t seen it in action, personally. Obviously, I see the video of George Floyd being murdered by white police officers, I remember the Trayvon Martin case, and all the things that have been happening.”

He added, “Although most of that, for me personally, has been overshadowed by gun violence. That’s the big thing that’s difficult for me to wrap my head around, moving to the States, simply because that doesn’t happen [in Canada]. At all. Ever.”

He then detailed is belief that “about a percentage of people in law enforcement, a very small percentage, are f*****g ruining it for people who […] should be celebrated and they should be lauded and they should be paid more than they’re paid.”

Amell explains:

“I think one of the shitty things is, you know, you and I, through Nocking Point and through these parties And just in general, you know, in life, we’ve met a lot of police officers who are really really great people, and I’ve been noticing on Instagram and twitter, these various police chiefs, thinking about the one in flint Michigan, I believe there was one in Houston as well, they’re putting down their batons and their weapons and they’re marching with everyone and they’re saying, ‘Look, this is, we can march, but if you’re going to step out of line and you’re going to wreck things in our city, we’re not going to stand for it, because this is our city’. You see the emotion on their faces, and it would be really tough to dedicate yourself to a job that’s as perilous and, you know, dangerous, as law enforcement, be passionate about it, and to have it ruined by a few bad apples.”

He adds:

“When I say a few a bad apples, that could come off as trivializing it, could come off as a little pippy. I’m talking about a percentage of people in law enforcement, a very small percentage, are fucking ruining it for people who, frankly, the majority of law enforcement should be celebrated, and they should be lauded, and they should be paid more than they’re paid, and I think it’s a real shame that the name of law enforcement and some of the vitriol that good police officers are having to deal with, male, female, black, white, brown, doesn’t matter, that aren’t part of the problem but are identified with the problem.”

Amell then expresses his desire to protect a local “mom and pop convenience store” from potential rioters and looters, wishing to avoid seeing it “burned to the ground.”

Amell states:

“From my perspective, I feel almost a responsibility to go down the hill a little bit and grab some Laurel Canyon residents and stand in front of the local store that’s been there for like 60 years. It’s a mom and pop convenice shop, it’s right above [a local business], and I honestly feel like I should go down there and stand in front of the front door for like, three or four hours, amongst residents, because I don’t want that place burned to the ground.”

Following the publication of the podcast, some fans were quick to cite its content as ‘evidence’ that Amell was an outright racist.

A prominent accuser of Amell’s was Image Comics writer Tee Franklin, who asserted that Amell had “been showing us his racist ass ways for quite awhile now. AND his wife”:

This particular accusation garnered a response from Amell, who stated that “if you need some or want to help me better understand, hit me up and we can chat!”

However, Amell’s request for a private and sincere dialogue was met with hostility from Franklin, as the author continued to further accuse Amell of racism and condescendingly fell back on the tired rhetoric that it was ‘not her job’ to educate him, while also conflating her personal relationship troubles with her grievances against Amell.

Franklin has since continued to accuse Amell of blatant racism while downplaying her own role in the ongoing controversy. She downplayed her aggressive accusations as simply responding to “keep it moving” and acted surprised when Amell chose to no longer engage:

The Bingo Love author has also taken to unironically demanding that any news outlet who reported on her publicly available tweets, such as IMDB and US Weekly, pay her for the use of said tweets in their articles.

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.