Recently, Arrow star Stephen Amell has been dealing with something that his superhero character knows all about: bad press. Two weeks ago, the actor appeared very critical of the current actor’s strike, going so far as to call it “myopic” as well as a “reductive negotiating tactic,” and backlash against these comments sent Amell to Instagram, where he expressed “unconditional” support for his union. Now, Deadline reports the actor is demonstrating his commitment to the current strike by joining the picket lines in New York City.
Stephen Amell was dragged on social media by his fellow Arrowverse stars for his comments about the SAG-AFTRA strike, two weeks later, he’s out walking the picket line.
Arguably, Stephen Amell’s previous statements that criticized the strike was one of his biggest PR flops and a very unforced error. The actor previously became a household name thanks to the success of Arrow and his many appearances in the extended CW superhero universe. And he managed to parlay that fame into ownership of his own talent agency as well as a stake in the popular Heroes and Villains fan convention, which simultaneously helps him avoid convention booking fees and to play a more direct role in his interactions with fans.
In other words, Stephen Amell is in a much more financially stable position than many of his fellow actors, and he is currently headlining the popular Starz wrestling show Heels. Given all of this information, it wasn’t that surprising that he previously expressed strident criticism toward the strikes that are likely cutting into his bottom line. However, it seems this Green Arrow actor missed the mark with that criticism, and he underestimated just how strong the fan backlash would be.
Kirk Acevado and Tom Canavagh were just two of Stephen Amell’s fellow Arrowverse cast that went after the star’s poorly thought out comments.
As Variety reports, Stephen Amell was quite clear when he first said, “I do not support striking,” but he soon walked this back in an Instagram post where he clarified that while he doesn’t “like striking,” he realizes that as actors, “we have to do what we have to do.” He was also quite honest about the fact that his previous statements came after he “was speaking extemporaneously for over an hour” and that “At least for the foreseeable future, I choose to stand with my union.”
With a touch of wry humor, he also had a request for fans and critics alike: “When you see me on a picket line please don’t whip any hard fruit.” Now, it seems this particular prophecy has been fulfilled, with the actor appearing on the picket line in New York City to signify his support for the actors and writers who are currently on strike. Keeping things simple, Stephen Amell appeared in a black t-shirt that read “SAG-AFTRA Strong” while holding a simple sign that reads, “SAG-AFTRA ON STRIKE.”
While only time will tell if Stephen Amell putting action to words will win over the fans that he previously alienated, it’s likely edifying for many other striking actors to see one of the strike’s biggest critics on the picket line.
Stephen Amell is now out protesting to support the nearly 85 percent of Hollywood actors that don’t earn enough to qualify for health insurance.
Currently, only 12.7 percent of Hollywood actors actually qualify for union health insurance, with everyone else not making the $26,470 per year required to qualify. Since the vast majority of actors don’t make even that much from acting, it was difficult for many creators and fans to agree with Amell’s earlier statements about striking being “myopic.”
For a while there, jaded Arrow fans were ready to claim that Stephen Amell had “failed this city” due to his criticism about the strike. Now, though, like his onscreen vigilante before him, Amell seems to be softening his hard edges and becoming the reluctant leader his fellow actors could really use right now. Unfortunately, he may discover that the AMPTP is an even fiercer foe than Deathstroke and Damien Dahrk combined.