Billy Porter Says He's Being Forced To Sell His House Amid Hollywood Strikes

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Billy Porter is already feeling the effects of Hollywood being at a standstill amid the writers’ and actors’ strikes.

The Emmy- and Tony-winning actor and singer told London’s Evening Standard last weekend that he’s feeling the pressure to downsize without any substantial income coming in for the foreseeable future.

“I have to sell my house,” Porter told the publication. “Because we’re on strike. And I don’t know when we’re gonna go back [to work]. The life of an artist, until you make fuck-you money — which I haven’t made yet — is still check-to-check.”

Though Porter had anticipated working on both a new movie and a television series that had been slated to start in September, he said, “None of that is happening.”

“So to the person who said ‘we’re going to starve them out until they have to sell their apartments,’ you’ve already starved me out,” he added, referring to a much-circulated quote attributed to an unnamed Hollywood studio executive.

Prior to the Hollywood strikes, Billy Porter said he planned to take part in a new film and TV series this September.
Prior to the Hollywood strikes, Billy Porter said he planned to take part in a new film and TV series this September.

Prior to the Hollywood strikes, Billy Porter said he planned to take part in a new film and TV series this September.

Actors have been on strike since July 14. The Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is seeking higher residuals from streaming platforms and stricter safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence, among other updates, from the studios as part of a new contract, but negotiations have stalled.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents Hollywood screenwriters, has been on strike since May 2. (HuffPost’s unionized employees are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East.)

Porter ― a 2019 Emmy winner for his portrayal of Pray Tell on “Pose” ― was speaking to the Evening Standard to promote his new album, “Black Mona Lisa.” He was careful not to address specifics of his film and TV work in the interview, according to the stipulations of the strike.

Still, he blasted Disney CEO Bob Iger’s headline-making claims that actors and writers are being “very disruptive” while making demands that are “not realistic.”

“To hear Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While he makes $78,000 a day? I don’t have any words for it, but: fuck you,” said Porter, who is newly single. “That’s not useful, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. I haven’t engaged because I’m so enraged. I’m glad I’ve been over here. But when I go back I will join the picket lines.”

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