“Arrow” star Stephen Amell appears to have changed his position on the controversy surrounding his tweets regarding Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas boy who was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to school earlier this week.
The CW star landed in hot water after tweeting, “Stereotyping Texas isn’t any better than stereotyping Ahmed. Just so we’re clear,” on Wednesday, and then faced further backlash when he refused to take back his words.
After a self-imposed 24-hour hiatus from social media, Amell returned to Twitter Friday, saying, “Been unseasonably cold in Vancouver. Good thing we’ve been able to heat our condo with fake cyber rage.”
But one heartfelt video from a self-described big fan of the actor has seemingly made him rethink his position.
“I want to apologize,” Amell posted on Facebook in response to an emotional 11-minute video message from Jennifer Wattley. “For a couple of reasons. First, just because. Pride gets in the way sometimes. So let’s get rid of that. I’m sorry. If you were offended, found me trite or disingenuous, I’m sorry.”
Jennifer Wattley posted the video of herself responding to Amell’s actions over the past couple of days, even shedding some tears during the emotional monologue in which she schools the actor on why his actions were hurtful, all the while acknowledging that the odds of him ever actually watching the video was slim.
“It’s been a rough couple of days in the ‘Arrow’ fandom, has it not?” she started the video by saying. “I’ve spent the past ten and a half hours doing extra work, which I love, but all day all I could think of is this situation in the ‘Arrow’ fandom, and I needed to say something about it. Because I can’t let it go, because it hurts. It really really hurts.”
Amell’s long response continued, in part, “I’m not an expert on religion or the history of particular regions. Quite simply I should have left things to smarter people. So again, I’m sorry… if anyone feels like Jennifer, then please consider this abnormally long paragraph penance for a few lousy days in an otherwise fruitful relationship. I’m sorry. And everything being equal, I’d really like to move on.”
In the incident that spurred the original controversial tweet, 14-year-old Mohamed was arrested for bringing a self-made alarm clock to school in Irving, Texas, on Monday. The arrest has prompted questions about bias against Muslims and since then, the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag started trending on Twitter. Even President Obama has invited Mohamed to bring his alarm clock to the White House on Twitter.
Read Amell’s full Facebook apology message below:
Hey Jennifer Wattley – thanks for taking the time. I know that a lot of people wouldn’t put themselves out there in front of a large audience and produce something so raw. I’m also appreciative because part of the reason this whole ordeal metastasized is anonymity. The other 99% was me commenting on a social issue / doubling down / saying I was going away and then doubling (tripling) down again because I felt mistreated by a few headlines. (Poor me… I know.) This led to me poking the bear… and here we are. Now… I’m could go point / counterpoint on your video. You saying I don’t care… that I don’t get it… that I was simply equating two things when I explicitly stated that was not my intention… I don’t want to do that. I want to apologize. For a couple of reasons. First, just because. Pride gets in the way sometimes. So let’s get rid of that. I’m sorry. If you were offended, found me trite or disingenuous, I’m sorry. Second, I made specific statements… but in a medium where people can’t hear my tone of voice, and the inability to be particular in tone made people that were in my corner (that’s a weird thing to type) feel disrespected. So I’m sorry. I have a very, very large audience, a high school education and no safety net or filter in front of me. I’m an actor. I’m not a Professor of sociology or an expert on the psychology of anyone who has to exist in any culture as a minority. I’m not an expert on religion or the history of particular regions. Quite simply I should have left things to smarter people. So again, I’m sorry. Concurrently, this whole social (media) experiment is a two way street. I come forward with no filter and that has engendered me a lot of good faith. If that faith is jeopardized… Well, I’d regret that any of this happened even more than I already do. You be well, Jennifer. And if anyone feels like Jennifer, then please consider this abnormally long paragraph penance for a few lousy days in an otherwise fruitful relationship. I’m sorry. And everything being equal, I’d really like to move on. PS – I think your voice is lovely.
“Arrow” returns for Season 4 on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.