Stephen Amell's Controversies Explained

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Stephen Amell talks during a screening episode of the Starz channel's wrestling drama "Heels" at the AMC River East Theater on Aug. 26, 2021, in Chicago.

Stephen Amell will lead the cast of the upcoming Suits spinoff, Suits L.A., set to air on NBC.

Amell, who rose to fame as modern-day Robin Hood Oliver Queen in the CW's Arrow, achieved infamy in recent years due to being at the center of several controversies.

From calling out pop stars to picketing after being shamed for scabbing, find out all the offscreen drama surrounding the actor.

Related: Everything to Know About the Suits Spinoff

Stephen Amell Controversies

He May Have Dissed Miley Cyrus

In a public Facebook post in February 2015, Amell posted a bizarre rant that many people speculated was about Miley Cyrus.

Writing about going out for breakfast with his wife and daughter, Amell wrote in part, "An incredibly famous young woman came in with her sort of (not really) famous boyfriend. I immediately tensed because I consider this person - as the father of a young girl - to be nothing short of an emotional terrorist. My wife senses this and asks me what's wrong. I respond that we need to leave immediately for fear my kid and this overly sexualized velociraptor make eye contact even for the briefest of instances. I was dead serious. This is what it's like to have a daughter."

At the time, Cyrus was dating the significantly less famous nepo baby Patrick Schwarzenegger and was in her culturally appropriative twerking phase. While Amell never revealed what starlet he was discussing, the Internet quickly pointed their fingers at the "We Can't Stop" singer.

It wasn't the first time he randomly attacked Cyrus, either. He also tweeted the same month of Kim Kardashian's "Break the Internet" Paper magazine cover, "I like them. They're subtle. - Miley Cyrus checking out Kim Kardashian's new photo spread."

For her part, Cyrus was too busy enjoying her life and being what she called a "strategic hot mess" to even notice that Amell existed.

Related: Miley Cyrus' Net Worth Revealed

He Falsely Equated Jokes About Texas to Islamophobic and Xenophobic Stereotypes

You may remember an incident in September 2015 when a Muslim student, Ahmed Mohammed, in Irving, Texas, was arrested for bringing what turned out to simply be a self-made digital alarm clock to school. He was proud of his work and wanted to show his teachers, but one teacher spotted him holding the clock, thought it was a bomb, and called it in to authorities. Mohammed was arrested and cuffed, but quickly released.

After the clearly Islamophobic incident occurred, Amell had to post a hot take, tweeting, "Stereotyping Texas isn't any better than stereotyping Ahmed. Just so we're clear."

Obviously, there are big issues with comparing stereotypes about the state of Texas to stereotypes about actual marginalized groups, and the Internet was quick to point that out to Amell. His initial response was, ironically for the guy who plays Oliver Queen, to completely miss the point.

"What happened to Ahmed was terrible. Obviously," he later wrote in a series of tweets. "I happened to read a series of tweets pronouncing that this is a systemic problem in Texas, which is also profiling. It's profiling in a much less hurtful / destructive way… but it is profiling."

"My wife is from Texas, I have extended family in Texas, and I've met thousands of Texans that are wonderful, polite individuals," he added. "Anywho, I'm not apologizing or deleting the tweets. If you're outraged at an opinion it’s because you're bored."

Quipping that he was happy to block "several employees of of a couple companies" he didn't like, he concluded, "Last thing: Ahmed's White House visit will be an awesome, awesome moment."

He later took a social media break and posted a Facebook video apologizing if he'd offended anyone, explaining, "[I] wasn't trying to equate things that are very, very different. Was simply trying to say that two wrongs don't make a right."

Related: What Is White-Centering and How Can You Stop Doing It?

He Poked the Beyhive

Did he not pay attention to what happened to Rachel Roy circa Lemonade? In 2018, Amell felt the need to point out that he skipped watching Beyoncé's historic Coachella set to tune in to a documentary about André the Giant (who, for the record, was also awesome in his own right!).

Amell, a lifelong wrestling fan, likely didn't think much of his remark at first, but the Beyhive took notice, including about what appeared to be a key microaggression: He used the accent on the "e" in "André," but not in "Beyoncé." His response? To tweet "my âpölògīés" and complain about how sensitive the singer's fans are (though he did also note that "Beyonce won Coachella" and that "no other act there was anywhere close to her").

Related: Beyoncé's Net Worth In 2024 and How She Made It

He Was Tone Deaf About Black Lives Matter

In June 2020, Black Lives Matter protests were widespread following the murder of George Floyd. At the time, Amell kept hosting his How'd You Do It? podcast as normal, but did announce that one particular episode with The Flash star Grant Gustin would be put on hold.

"Full disclosure: Grant Gustin was supposed to be the guest this morning," he said in a Twitter video at the time. "He very politely and calmly texted me yesterday and said that with everything going on in Los Angeles that maybe this wasn't the appropriate time to spend 45 minutes talking about how he became such a giant, lovable television star."

Amell also said in the clip, "Racism is something really hard for me to understand," chalking it up to his being ... Canadian.


Followers called him out on not acknowledging the civil unrest over racial injustice, and comic book writer Tee Franklin tweeted, "F—k @StephenAmell he’s been showing us his racist ass ways for quite awhile [sic] now. AND his wife." (Franklin also called out Gustin, saying Gustin didn't do enough to support his co-star Candice Patton, who faced online harassment from racist viewers.)

Amell responded in a way typical of ignorant white people, telling Franklin, You totally nailed me. Hope that makes you feel better. I just followed you… so if you need something or you want to help me better understand, hit me up and we can chat!" Franklin then pointed out that it wasn't their nor the Black community's responsibility to educate him.

Related: A Recap of Black Lives Matter for the Uninitiated

He Got Kicked Off a Plane for Berating His Wife

Amell got booted from a Delta Airlines flight in June 2021 because he wouldn't stop screaming at his wife, America's Next Top Model alum Cassandra Jean Amell. Page Six reported that a flight attendant repeatedly asked the actor to cool it and quiet down and that he "appeared drunk," leading three flight attendants and an air marshal to remove him from the plane.

A rep for Delta told the outlet at the time, "Delta flight 966 on June 21 took a brief, eight-minute departure delay after an unruly customer was deplaned from the aircraft prior to departure in Austin. The flight arrived ahead of schedule at Los Angeles International Airport."

Amell's recollection of events was a little different. He tweeted, “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. And I did so immediately. I was not forcibly removed."

He added, "I rebooked myself on a Southwest flight 2 hours later and traveled home without any further issue. I let my emotions get the better of me, end of story. Must be a slow news cycle."

At least he wasn't flying private and killing the planet, right?

To Amell's credit, he later took full accountability for the incident in an interview on the Inside of You podcast.

"I had too many drinks and I had too many drinks in a public place," he said. "I was pissed off about something else that had nothing to do with Cass, my wife, and I picked a fight. I picked a fight because I wanted to be loud and upset. And it was a fight, it was not an argument."

Related: Legendary Celebrity Co-Star Feuds

He and His Wife Sued an Animal Rescue Group

In September 2022, Amell sued Rescues Rock, a Los Angeles-based animal rescue group headquartered next door to his Laurel Canyon home. He and wife Cassandra alleged that Rescues Rock was operating illegally and petitioned the court to get the rescue group to relocate, lamenting that "canines bark loudly at all hours of the night and day," waking the couple and their children, Page Six reported. They also complained that the rescue didn't clean up adequately, causing bad odors to waft into the Amells' yard.

A judge in the case ruled against the Amells that November, and he reportedly wasn't thrilled about it.

For what it's worth, TMZ reported that declarations from other homeowners in the neighborhood stated that they never heard excessive barking or noise from the rescue—and at least one said that Amell was "the mean neighbor" and got into a verbal spat with a gardener.

Related: The Biggest Pet Adoption Myths

He Was Accused of Being a Semi-Scab During the SAG-AFTRA Strikes

Cassandra Jade and Stephen Amell are seen on the SAG-AFTRA picket line in New York City on Aug. 11, 2023.<p>Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images</p>
Cassandra Jade and Stephen Amell are seen on the SAG-AFTRA picket line in New York City on Aug. 11, 2023.

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

In August 2023, while the SAG-AFTRA strike was in full force to protest for higher wages and protections for actors, Amell—himself a member of the union—said he stood with the union as a whole, but denounced striking as a "reductive negotiating tactic." (Of course, it was the only thing that somewhat worked!)

While at a convention and contractually unable to promote Heels Season 2 due to the strike, Amell lamented, "I think that the thinking as it pertains to shows like the show that I'm on that premiered last night—I think it's myopic."

Of course, these remarks didn't go over well with SAG-AFTRA, nor with his own Arrowverse castmates. Shortly thereafter, he posted a lengthy statement to social media (since deleted), writing in part, "Of course I don't like striking. Nobody does. But we have to do what we have to do. Nothing about the strike is funny but if I may self-deprecate for a moment. I have no clue what I was trying to say here and who says, 'I think that thinking...?' Perhaps it was an inarticulate shoutout to our crew and cast, who mean the world to me."

He added, "At least for the foreseeable future, I choose to stand with my union. When you see me on a picket line please don't whip any hard fruit."

He did, indeed, picket after getting his online comeuppance, so at least he learned his lesson!

Next, A Beginner's Guide to Anti-Racism