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Stephen Amell Angers Arrowverse After Publicly Opposing SAG-AFTRA Strike on August 1, 2023 at 3:37 pm Us Weekly

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Stephen Amell‘s strong feelings about the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike aren’t sitting well with fellow members of the Arrowverse.

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.)

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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.”

Stars Joining the SAG-AFTRA Picket Lines

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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.

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Stephen Amell Starz

“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.”

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Stephen Amell and Wife Cassandra Jean Amell’s Ups and Downs

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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.

Kirk Acevedo Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

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”

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Matt Letscher Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

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.”

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Every Cast Reunion on SAG-AFTRA Picket Line: ‘Zoey 101’ and More

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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.

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Stephen Amell‘s strong feelings about the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike aren’t sitting well with fellow members of the Arrowverse. 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 

​   Us Weekly Read More 

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Ava DuVernay Launches Array to Amplify Underrepresented Filmmakers

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In a bold move to champion diversity and inclusivity in the film industry, Ava DuVernay, the trailblazing director behind critically acclaimed works like “Selma” and “When They See Us,” has launched Array, a new distribution company aimed at amplifying the voices of women and ethnic minority filmmakers.

Lupita and Ana DuVernay

Empowering Underrepresented Storytellers

Array, a multi-platform media company, will serve as a powerful platform for underrepresented storytellers, providing them with the resources, support, and distribution channels they need to bring their unique narratives to a global audience. DuVernay, who has long been an advocate for diversity and representation in Hollywood, recognizes the immense talent and perspectives that have been historically marginalized and aims to create a space where these voices can thrive.“For too long, the film industry has been dominated by a narrow perspective, leaving countless stories untold and voices unheard,” said DuVernay. “With Array, we are committed to uplifting the work of talented filmmakers who have been overlooked and undervalued, and to creating a more inclusive and diverse cinematic landscape.”

A Curated Selection of Powerful Stories

Array will curate a diverse slate of films, documentaries, and episodic content from emerging and established filmmakers, with a particular focus on stories that explore the complexities of race, gender, and social justice. The company will leverage its partnerships with major streaming platforms, theatrical distributors, and film festivals to ensure these powerful narratives reach a wide audience.

Fostering Collaboration and Mentorship

In addition to distribution, Array will also provide mentorship and professional development opportunities for aspiring filmmakers, fostering a collaborative environment where artists can learn, grow, and support one another. DuVernay, who has mentored numerous up-and-coming directors, understands the importance of nurturing talent and creating a supportive ecosystem for underrepresented voices.“Representation matters, not just on screen but behind the camera as well,” DuVernay emphasized. “By empowering diverse storytellers and amplifying their voices, we can create a more inclusive and equitable film industry that reflects the rich tapestry of our society.”With Array, Ava DuVernay is paving the way for a new era of storytelling, one that celebrates the power of diverse perspectives and ensures that the voices of women and ethnic minorities are heard, celebrated, and embraced on a global scale.

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Scarlett Johansson Accuses OpenAI of Voice Theft for ChatGPT

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Hollywood Star Claims Unauthorized Use of Her Voice without Consent
Scarlett Johansson, a renowned Hollywood actress, has made shocking allegations against OpenAI, accusing the artificial intelligence company of stealing her voice for their ChatGPT model without her permission. The controversy erupted after users noticed an uncanny resemblance between the voice of ChatGPT’s “Sky” avatar and Johansson’s distinctive tone from her role in the 2013 film “Her.”
Johansson’s Statement
According to Johansson, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had approached her in September 2022, offering her the opportunity to voice the ChatGPT 4.0 system. However, she declined the offer for personal reasons. Nine months later, when OpenAI unveiled the new ChatGPT 4.0 demo, Johansson was shocked to discover that the “Sky” voice bore an “eerily similar” resemblance to her own.
OpenAI’s Response
Despite OpenAI’s claims that the “Sky” voice belonged to a different professional actress and was not an imitation of Johansson’s voice, the actress was unconvinced. She hired legal counsel and sent two letters to Altman and OpenAI, demanding an explanation of how they created the voice. Ultimately, OpenAI agreed to remove the “Sky” voice from their products.
Johansson’s Stand
Johansson emphasized the importance of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to safeguard identities and intellectual property in the age of deepfakes and AI-generated content. She expressed her determination to protect her likeness, work, and identity from unauthorized use.
Ethical Implications
The controversy has reignited debates surrounding the ethical implications of AI technology and the potential infringement of individual rights. As OpenAI faces multiple lawsuits from media companies, authors, and artists over alleged unauthorized use of their materials, Johansson’s stand represents the concerns of an entire class of creatives grappling with the erosion of their work’s value due to automated systems.
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Authorities Reopen Perry Case

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The news is that federal authorities have reopened a criminal investigation into the death of actor Matthew Perry due to new evidence suggesting foul play.

Initially, Perry’s death in October 2023 was ruled an accidental overdose caused by acute ketamine intoxication. However, recent findings revealed that the levels of ketamine in his system were much higher than what he was prescribed for his depression and anxiety treatment.  This has prompted the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to launch a joint criminal probe to determine how Perry obtained the fatal dose of ketamine.

As part of the investigation, law enforcement officials are interviewing individuals from Hollywood’s drug circles who may have information about the source of the ketamine that killed Perry. While no arrests have been made yet, authorities are working to trace the origin of the lethal substance and identify any potential suspects involved in illegally providing it to the actor.

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The reopening of the case as a criminal matter suggests that authorities now suspect foul play or illegal drug distribution contributed to Perry’s death, rather than it being a tragic accidental overdose. The investigation aims to uncover the truth behind the circumstances surrounding the beloved “Friends” star’s untimely demise.

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

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