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Earlier this week the story of a 14-year-old Texan boy named Ahmed Mohamed arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school flooded the internet. The Muslim teenager, who loved science and math, excitedly brought a digital clock in which he entirely built by hand to show off to his friends. The school responded by calling the police and falsely accusing the boy for creating a hoax bomb. Social media poured with support for Ahmed, but Stephen Amell quickly responded with a controversial tweet calling out those stereotyping Texas and calling that just as bad as stereotyping Ahmed. Well, needless to say, Amell’s comments only spurred further backlash, especially after refusing to take back his words. He took a break from social media, but returned when one fan left a heartfelt video on his Facebook wall that seemingly made the Arrow actor rethink his position.
The woman who posted the video on Amell’s Facebook wall, Jennifer Wattley, made it clear that the purpose of her sharing was to help the actor understand a different point of view than his own. She went on to kindly tell the actor that no one thinks he is a bad person, they are just disappointed. Her 11-minute video is raw and emotional. And it apparently stuck out to Amell, because he quickly responded in the comments section and apologized. What it basically came down to for Amell was the realization that he is not in a position to pose such an opinion. He wrote:
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.
Amell went on to direct his apology to any of his fans who felt offended by his comments, and the response was of complete gratitude. Clearly it is difficult to live on social media these days as a celebrity. With Amell, he prides himself on his openness and availability to fans over the internet, but sometimes it can have negative outcomes as well. All in all though, it sounds like his fans see his apology as genuine, and he can move forward in being his good ol’ vocal self on Facebook and Twitter.