Arrow star Stephen Amell recently explained his comments about the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike that he made during an appearance at Galaxycon in North Carolina over the weekend.
During a Q&A session, Amell was asked about the strike and he responded, “I feel like I’m insulated in Hollywood, uh, ’cause that’s where I live. I truly live in Hollywood, like all the stereotypes that exist. so I feel like a lot of people in this room aren’t aware of the strike.”
After a brief pause he said, “I support my union, I do, and I stand with them, but I do not support striking, I don’t. I think it is a reductive negotiating tactic.”
He continued, “And I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating. And I think the thinking as it pertains to shows like the show that I’m on [Heels], that premiered last night, I think it’s myopic. And I, uh, stand with my union.”
Following these comments numerous individuals on Twitter launched disgusting attacks against Amell. Many of them were compiled by Twitter user MasteroftheTDS.
At Galaxy Con. Stephen Amell spoke out about the SAG AFTRA Strike, saying that while he supports the union, he does not support striking.
“I support my union, but I think it is a reductive negotiating tactic and I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating”
People took to… pic.twitter.com/jxDmdKRRWN
— MasteroftheTDS (@MasteroftheTDS) August 1, 2023
Following these attacks, Amell explained his comments in an Instagram post. He wrote, “Understandably, there has been a lot of reaction to the comments I made this weekend about our strike. To ensure there is no misunderstanding about my thoughts and intentions I’m providing what I actually said and clarity/context to ensure my feelings aren’t unintentionally misinterpreted. We all know soundbites can be taken out of context and I have too much respect for my fellow union members to not clarify the record.”
He then broke down his comments line by line beginning with “I support my union, I do, and I stand with them.” He explained, “This doesn’t need much clarity: My support is unconditional and I stand with them.”
Next, he addressed his comments about not supporting striking. He explained, “What this means in full context: 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 then explained why he believes striking is a reductive negotiating tactic, “In full context: 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,” he continued.
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He then continued in the comments explaining why he believes the strike is myopic especially in concern to his Starz series Heels, “Nothing about the strike is funny but if I may self deprecate for a moment. I have no clue what I was trying to say here and who says, “I think that thinking…?” 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.”
Amell continued, “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.”
Amell also appeared on TMZ where he discussed his comments saying, “I understand the strike on an intellectual level. Striking is not the only form of negotiating. And if there’s a positive thing to take away from this and believe me, Harvey, I’m searching for the positives because the past day or so has not been the most fun.”
“But if there is a positive here, I would like to think that in some way, shape, or form I can encourage people to get back to the table and negotiate,” he said. “I think, again, one of the silver linings that come out of this is I’m going to get the opportunity later today to speak with SAG leadership to show them how much I support them and want to stand with them. But just because I agree with– I love my co-workers, I love my wife, and I love my kids very much that doesn’t mean that I always agree with the choices that they make, but I will never ever leave them in a time of need and I won’t do that to my union.”
When asked what kind of comments he’s received from other actors in private, Amell said, “I’ve got an extreme amount of support. A lot of people that have reached out. A lot of people that have been quiet, but I woke up this morning to 60+ text messages from people. I’m not going to say who they are and they support the union too. They really do, but, you know, we live in a time right now — I don’t want to wax too poetic here — where, you know, people want you to vote as long as you’re voting for their candidate.”
He added, “I think that this has been done in a very black and white, all or nothing sort of way. And I’m talking about shows that were and movies that were about to come out before the strike and I’m speaking specifically about shows that I and a bunch of people that pour their heart and soul into that happened to be coming out within a certain window after the strike and I don’t think that some of the consideration that was given to other projects leading up to the strike and the delay of the strike was given to some of the projects that came on the other side. And that’s something that retrospectively I should have done a better job of taking up in private with the leadership of my union, people that I greatly respect and admire and look forward to talking to.”
What do you make of Amell’s clarification and his comments on TMZ?