SAG-AFTRA… you have failed this city. Former Arrow star Stephen Amell drew the ire of his fellow actors when he expressed his reservations about the actors’ strike over the weekend. During an appearance at GalaxyCon in Raleigh, North Carolina, Amell spoke to fans – which required strict adherence to actors’ union guidelines about promoting his new show, Heels – and the strike inevitably came up. He gave an honest, nuanced answer about his stance on the strike and the union, which you can see in the video below, thanks to Twitter user drea♡kaya’s version♡:
“i stand with my union but i don’t like strikes” -Stephen Amell pic.twitter.com/M1sZCJjzz3
— drea♡kaya’s version♡ (@mtvpiker) August 1, 2023
This isn’t all that hard to understand; he supports his union and his fellow actors, but he doesn’t agree with the decision to strike. That seems perfectly reasonable to me, indicative of someone not beholden to a herd mentality. It doesn’t mean he’s right or wrong; he has an opinion. But Hollywood is Hollywood, so of course, he’s being attacked. These are a couple of comments from some other Arrowverse actors:
— KID VICIOUS🔪 (@kirkacevedo) August 1, 2023
— Matt Letscher (@MattLetscher) August 1, 2023
I’m not an actor; while I’ve analyzed it from an outsider’s perspective, it’s not my place to weigh in on whether the strike is a good idea or the union is good or bad. But it is Stephen Amell’s place, as much as it’s any of his detractors’ – and more so in some cases because a lot of those people aren’t actors either. This is what I don’t like about institutions like unions (which isn’t an argument for or against them); they demand total conformity, and they wreak unholy terror on anyone who even asks a question. Amell said unequivocally that he supports his union and his fellow actors; he pays union dues, he’s participating in the strike, and he said he’s been and will continue to be on the picket line protesting. Why is it so horrible if he doesn’t think this was the right tactic? Groupthink like that is scary, and it’s extremely un-American.
Remember the writers’ strike of 2007-2008? I sure do, and I remember how they went to all that trouble and got little of what they wanted in return, as well as, according to writer Eric Tipton (also of the Arrowverse), losing much more than they gained. I also remember how they went after anyone who questioned whether that strike was a good idea. I’m sure the striking actors think they’re heroes, especially the bigger stars who are “doing it for the little guy” (a new “Imagine” video taken in a series of Malibu mansions is probably forthcoming), but it’s much braver to do something like Stephen Amell did, knowing that your peers will turn on you and you may never work again.