Stephen Amell, former 'Arrow' star, clarifies stance after speaking out against SAG-AFTRA strike

ByLisa Respers France, CNN, CNNWire
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Stephen Amell is clarifying his comments about the current actors' strike, CNN reported.

Amell, who came to fame on "Arrow" and is currently starring in "Heels" on Starz, was asked about the actors' strike over the weekend during an appearance at Galaxycon in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"I support my union, I do, and I stand with them," Amell said in video shared on social media. "But I do not support striking. I don't."

SEE MORE: Hollywood actors join screenwriters in historic industry-stopping strike as contract talks collapse

He added, "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 the show that I'm on that premiered last night," he said, referring to his series "Heels." "I think it's myopic."

Amell subsequently clarified his remarks in a statement shared on Instagram Tuesday.

"Understandably, there has been a lot of reaction to the comments I made this weekend about our strike," his post began. "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."

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Amell then further explained his position on the strike.

"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," he wrote. "Of course I don't like striking. Nobody does. But we have to do what we have to do."

In terms of referring to the strike as a "reductive negotiating tactic" he found "frustrating," Amell wrote that "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," his statement continued. "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."

SEE ALSO: Universal Studios fined $250 over trimming of trees near picket line location

SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 currently on strike against major film and television studios over contract terms related to compensation, artificial intelligence protections and other issues.

The strike commenced on July 14. Writers in the industry have been on strike since May 2.

CNN has reached out to representatives for SAG-AFTRA and Amell for further comment.

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