Posting Old Meghan Markle Photos Was "Embarrassing Oversight," "Suits" Co-Star Says
Patrick J. Adams caught flak after sharing BTS shots from the show's set. Here's why.
A "trip down memory lane" led to intense criticism for Suits star Patrick J. Adams, after he posted old photos from the show's set on social media. Adams starred as Mike Ross on the USA Network legal series for seven years, departing at the same time as co-star Meghan Markle, who played his love interest Rachel Zane. Markle left the show following her engagement to Prince Harry, knowing she was starting a new life as a member of the British royal family. Many of Markle's Suits co-stars, including Adams, attended her royal wedding.
Suits, which aired from 2011 to 2019, has recently had a boom in popularity thanks to its availability on the streaming services Netflix and Peacock. But while Adams was attempting to post about his memories of the show and give fans old and new a look behind the scenes, he accidentally made a major faux pas and subsequently issued an apology. Read on to find out why.
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Adams posted throwback photos of his co-stars, including Markle.
As reported by People, across four Instagram posts, Adams shared behind-the-scenes images from Suits. These photos featured co-stars including Markle, Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman, and more. He captioned one of the posts, "This well is deeeep." Another caption read, "I miss my friends," and a third was captioned, "Each and every one of them."
Given her massive international fame, the photos of Markle were of particular interest to fans. In one of them, she poses under a clear umbrella, while another shows her laying on a sofa. Adams' Instagram bio even acknowledges how the public's fascination with Markle led to increased interest in Suits. It reads, "the guy from that show you're watching on that app because that girl married that prince."
Adams apologized for posting the pictures.
Posting behind-the-scenes shots from Suits was interpreted by some as breaking a rule of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, which prohibits promoting "struck work or struck companies." Adams said that after he shared the pictures, his followers reminded him of this. He removed the photos and apologized on his Instagram story, as reported by Deadline.
"The last couple of days I foolishly and thoughtlessly let a trip down Suits memory lane distract me from the very real and ongoing fight everyone in @sagaftra continues to wage in its effort to win our membership realistic 21st century compensation and protections," he wrote. "It was an embarrassing oversight for which I'm incredibly sorry. So grateful to those who gently and swiftly course corrected me here and I look forward to continuing the fight in the days and weeks ahead."
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SAG-AFTRA asks that struck work is not promoted.
The actors union SAG-AFTRA has been on strike since July 14. The strike began after SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major Hollywood studios, did not reach an agreement on a new contract. SAG-AFTRA is fighting for fair wages, with one big issue being residuals from content shown on streaming services.
A frequently asked questions section on the SAG-AFTRA strike website explains, "The current strike rules define 'promote' very broadly in order to achieve maximum impact to the studios, networks, and streamers. Your voice is powerful to your fans. Without it, the studios, networks, and streamers lose leverage. No promotion therefore means no photos, videos, social media posts, interviews, appearances, panels, discussions, in-character magazine covers, press conferences, red carpets, junkets, press releases, press kits, etc. that promote struck work or struck companies."
The rule covers shows that are no longer on the air, especially if they're streaming.
Posting about an older show that is now shown on streaming services—as Adams did with Suits—is particularly frowned upon, according to the SAG-AFTRA site. This is because of one of the main points the actors' union is fighting for is an increase in residuals from streaming. Adams posts were not blatant promotion in that they didn't specifically direct people to watch the series, but they did increase the show's visibility.
The FAQ section continues of promotion, "This includes work done in the past. Streamers and networks are directing fans to past content to fill the void resulting from the WGA [Writers Guild of America] and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The streamers in particular hold older content hostage on their platforms, resulting in no 'move-over' residuals, while also paying a streaming residual that does not reflect the value of the content to the streamers."
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