Stephen Amell, best known for his role as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in the CW’s Arrowverse and his recent Starz show Heels, is coming under fire for his comments about the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. While Amell said that he does support his union, he also said, “I do not support striking.” He reiterated his point saying, “I think that it’s a reductive negotiating tactic, and I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating.”
“I do not support striking. I think that it’s a reductive negotiating tactic, and I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating.“Stephen Amell on the strikes in Hollywood
Stephen Amell’s comments are in reference to the ongoing strikes of the Hollywood writer’s union known as WGA and the actor’s union, known as SAG-AFTRA, going on strike after negotiations fell apart between the unions and the studios represented by AMPTP. The key issues the parties disagree over are better streaming residuals for writers and actors and AI regulation in the industry. Needless to say, Amell’s comments are going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, including his fellow Arrowverse actors:
Matt Letscher, who played the villainous Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash in CW’s The Flash series, tweeted about Stephen Amell’s comments asking for a list of negotiating tactics that would be considered ‘non-reductive.’ Kirk Acevedo, who played Oliver Queen’s adversary Ricardo Diaz/The Dragon in Arrow, took their fictional beef to the real world and succinctly posted a dragon emoji to reference his supervillain role with two middle finger emojis on either side. Clearly, both parties don’t hold the same opinions as Amell.
While Stephen Amell discusses the SAG-AFTRA strike on X, The Flash star Grant Gustin is on the picketline.
Stephen Amell is certainly going to find it hard to find much support from other actors about his comments. There is already some contention amongst productions that are getting waivers to continue filming on independent projects. As the SAG-AFTRA union rules stipulate, actors can’t work on projects or promote projects associated with the studios that are a part of AMPTP.
However, some films and TV shows are able to get production waivers if they can prove that their production is truly independent and not associated with AMPTP. Some actors are taking umbrage with these workarounds, such as Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk, who summed up his thoughts on the waivers with “It’s a strike, be on strike.” Hardly any actors disagree with the actual strike itself, so Stephen Amell is certainly a rare breed in that regard.
“From an intellectual perspective, I understand why we’re striking, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t emotionally frustrating on many levels for all involved.”Stephen Amell, clarifying his comments
However, it’s worth noting that the online outrage hasn’t gone unnoticed by Stephen Amell. Midway through the time of writing this article, Amell has taken to Twitter to clarify his comments about the strike. Pop Crave has put together his full statement in a separate Tweet:
Stephen Amell clarified that his support for his union is “unconditional” and said, “From an intellectual perspective, I understand why we’re striking, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t emotionally frustrating on many levels for all involved.” The emotional frustration of striking is understandable, but it’s likely that the Internet, and perhaps even his fellow actors, are going to be quick to let the initial comments go. Unless people see Amell on the frontlines of the strike, like his fellow Arrowverse star Grant Gustin, it might be a while before the anger cools down a bit.