The Arrow alum, 42, was asked about the labor dispute during an appearance at GalaxyCon in North Carolina, which took place from Thursday, July 27, to Sunday, July 30. Amell declared that he is a proud member of the Hollywood union but publicly opposed its course of action.
“I feel like I’m insulated in Hollywood, because that’s where I live … [but] I feel like a lot of people in this room aren’t aware of the strike,” he claimed in footage uploaded via social media on Monday, July 31. (A person in the room posed the question.)
Amell hesitated for a moment before adding: “I support my union, I do. And I stand with them. I do not support striking. I don’t. I think that it is a reductive negotiating tactic.”
SAG-AFTRA, which represents film and television actors, is striking against the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP), the organization representing many major Hollywood studios. Recent contract negotiations were unsuccessful, leading union president Fran Drescher to officially initiate the strike last month. SAG-AFTRA followed the WGA, which kicked off its own strike in May.
“I find the entire thing incredibly frustrating,” Amell said at the convention. “I think that the thinking as it pertains to shows like [Heels], the show that I’m on that premiered last night, I think it’s myopic.”
Per union guidelines, SAG-AFTRA members are not allowed to participate in promotional press for projects that are considered “struck work,” meaning they were filmed under the previous AMPTP contract. Many stars have pressed pause on red carpet appearances, premieres and other interviews to stand in solidarity with their union. It’s unclear whether Amell’s convention appearance was directly related to promoting Heels, which began its second season over the weekend.
As Amell’s comments sparked debate online, his former Arrow costar Kirk Acevedo wasted no time chiming in. “This f–king guy,” Acevedo — who played “The Dragon” Ricardo Diaz on seasons 6 and 7 of Arrow — tweeted on Monday, adding two middle finger emojis, a dragon and an eye roll emoji.
The Flash‘s Matt Letscher, meanwhile, threw shade without mentioning Amell by name. “Still waiting on that comprehensive list of totally non-reductive negotiating tactics we get to employ now,” he tweeted. “Thank god for superheroes! Any second now… #SAGAFTRAstrike #SAGAFTRAstrong”
This isn’t Amell’s first brush with controversy in recent years. He was escorted off an airplane traveling from Austin to Los Angeles in June 2021 following the ATX Television Festival.
“My wife and I got into an argument Monday afternoon on a Delta flight from Austin to LA. I was asked to lower my voice and I did. Approximately 10 minutes later I was asked to leave the flight,” Amell tweeted at the time, attempting to clarify the incident. “And I did so immediately. I was not forcibly removed.”
Two months later, Amell further addressed the situation on an episode of the “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum” podcast. “I had too many drinks in a public place, and I got on a plane,” he claimed. “I was pissed off about something else that had nothing to do with Cass, my wife, and I picked a fight. Just I picked a fight because I wanted to be loud and upset.”
Amell asserted that describing the incident as “an argument” was misleading. “My wife said one thing the entire time. … This is 100 percent my fault,” he explained. “I feel like I went the better part of 10 years without being an a–hole in public. I was an a–hole in public.”
Amell and Jean tied the knot in 2012. They share daughter Maverick, 9, and son Bowen, 14 months.