Stephen Amell’s disapproval of the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strike displays an unsupportive attitude towards his union and a misunderstanding of its objectives. Despite receiving unanimous support from a multitude of top-tier celebrities and several industry professionals, Amell’s insensitive comments highlight a disconnect from the joint efforts made to address the existing issues. His prior infringement of SAG-AFTRA regulations during the strike, combined with his ongoing remarks, imply he might be overly engrossed in his role as a villain in the show Heels, suggesting a possible confusion between reality and fiction.
Known for playing the lead in the CW’s Arrow and currently reprising his role in the second season of Starz’s professional wrestling drama Heels, Stephen Amell seems to be getting too immersed in his character as he has openly criticized the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strike. Heels, a series that illustrates an independent wrestling organization featuring characters as babyfaces (heroes) and heels (villains), seemingly has Amell overly convinced in his on-screen antagonist persona after his insensitive comments.
“I am a supporter of my union, indeed, and I stand with them, yet, I don’t endorse striking, I just don’t,” he expressed during a public appearance at Galaxycon in Raleigh, NC. “I perceive it as a simplistic negotiation approach, and I find the whole situation extremely irritating. Furthermore, I think the thought process concerning shows like the one I’m currently on [Heels], that debuted last night, is shortsighted.”
In June, a staggering majority of SAG-AFTRA members, nearly 98%, voted in favor of granting union leadership the authority to carry out a walkout. This substantial mandate was backed by almost half of all eligible members who participated in the voting process. Consequently, on July 13, the strike was officially initiated.
Image via The CW
This isn’t Amell’s first time expressing his opposition to the industrial action, which aims to provide struggling actors and writers with a fairer share of profits from streaming platforms due to their contemptible practices of limiting residuals owed to performers and creatives. He was caught on camera at Montreal Comic-Con only two days post-strike initiation saying “f*ck this” and encouraging discussion about Arrow, which is a clear violation of SAG-AFTRA regulations during a strike.
A Little Too Immersed in His Role
Prominent celebrities, including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, and Jessica Chastain, have been outspoken in their support for the walkout. Their public endorsements are bolstered by the involvement of thousands of others who have expressed their unity by joining picket lines in both Los Angeles and New York. The joint efforts of these individuals have intensified the message of the walkout, spotlighting the issues at stake and encouraging a sense of unity within the industry.
Perhaps Amell could take a leaf out of their book, or maybe his time in the wrestling ring has left him a little too committed to his character.