Patrick J. Adams
Patrick J. Adams shared and then deleted behind-the-scenes photos of Meghan Markle from their set on "Suits" on Instagram. Patrick J. Adams/Instagram

Patrick J. Adams has been accused of disrespecting the SAG-AFTRA strike when he shared throwback photos of Meghan Markle and their "Suits" co-stars on Instagram. In response to the backlash, he deleted the pictures following an apology.

The actor, who played Mike Ross in the NBC legal series, posted a series of behind-the-scenes snaps from the show including intimate photos of the duchess, who played his on-screen love interest Rachel Zane. He then mysteriously deleted all images and later explained the reason after he was reminded of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The actors have been prohibited from promoting their projects until they can reach a deal on a new contract. The strike has been going on for 77 days and counting. In an apology posted on his Instagram Story on Tuesday, Adams admitted that what he did was "foolish" and "thoughtless".

He wrote: "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 called his action "an embarrassing oversight" for which he is "incredibly sorry". He also shared his gratitude to those "who gently and swiftly course corrected" him. He concluded his post saying that he is looking forward "to continuing the fight in the days and weeks ahead". He added the hashtag #sagaftrastrong.

A FAQ page for SAG-AFTRA about the strike, which started on July 14, mentioned that members "cannot promote struck work or struck companies on social media". Meanwhile, influencers "should refrain from posting on social media about any struck work regardless of whether they are posting organically or in a paid capacity".

Adams shared a carousel of photos of his "Suits" costars on Instagram. They include a shot of Meghan Markle lying down on the floor with her bare feet propped up on a cabinet. Beside her sitting on a couch and gazing up at the camera is Sarah Rafferty.

The 42-year-old also shared never-before-seen pictures of Meghan Markle including one of her sheltering under an umbrella, another shows her lounging on a sofa, and standing on set in costume with a script in her hand and looking down on the ground. It is not clear if Adams broke SAG-AFTRA rules as he was not promoting "Suits". Regardless, he deemed his action inappropriate amid the strike.