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Stephen Amell Faces Criticism for Speaking Out Against the SAG-AFTRA Strike

"Arrow" star Stephen Amell expresses frustration over Hollywood strike, calling it a reductive negotiating tactic that he does not support.

Over the weekend, actor Stephen Amell, known for his roles in "Heels" and "Arrow," voiced his frustration regarding the ongoing strike during his appearance at Raleigh's GalaxyCon. Amell expressed his belief that many people in the room were unaware of the strike, and although he supports his union, he does not support striking as a negotiating tactic.

Amell described the strike as reductive and frustrating, particularly in relation to shows like "Heels" that premiered recently. Despite his comments, a representative for Amell has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Since his remarks went viral, Amell has faced criticism, including from Kirk Acevedo, who portrayed Ricardo Diaz (aka The Dragon) on "Arrow." Acevedo took to social media to express his disapproval, accompanied by two middle finger emojis. Matt Letscher, known for his appearances on "The Flash" and "Legends of Tomorrow," also reacted to the situation, calling for a comprehensive list of non-reductive negotiating tactics.

The strike was initiated by the Hollywood's actors union, which represents over 160,000 actors and individuals in the entertainment industry. The strike began on July 14 after failed contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). As a result, the production of numerous movies and TV shows has been halted, and union actors are prohibited from engaging in promotional activities for the companies involved in the strike.

Prior to the GalaxyCon event, organizers consulted with SAG-AFTRA lawyers and made adjustments based on their guidance. Actors were allowed to attend the event since GalaxyCon is not a "struck" company, and the talent appeared independently of the struck companies. However, actors were not permitted to discuss struck projects during panels, although autographs and photo opportunities were still allowed with some modifications. Despite these arrangements, actress Kate Mulgrew canceled her appearance at the event.

According to USA Today, Amell's participation in the event does not appear to violate the terms of the strike since actors are allowed to answer general questions about their overall life and career. Amell has additional fan events scheduled, including appearances at Fan Expo in Boston this weekend and GalaxyCon in Austin in September.

The strike initiated by SAG-AFTRA aims to secure better compensation for streaming, which has experienced significant growth in recent years. Additionally, concerns regarding artificial intelligence have also been raised. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher stated that the union is prepared to strike for at least six months, emphasizing their determination to achieve their goals.

It is worth noting that the Writers Guild of America has also been on strike since May. Amell's Starz show, "Heels," premiered its second season on July 28 and revolves around a wrestling drama featuring his character, Jack, and his brother/rival, Ace, portrayed by Alexander Ludwig.

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