Billy Porter says he needs to sell his house 'because we're on strike'

Billy Porter may have to make some sacrifices as the SAG-AFTRA actors strike wages on.

The actor, 53, who is currently starring in the musical "A Strange Loop" in London, criticized media giants and discussed the strike in an interview with the Evening Standard released Saturday.

"The business has evolved. So the contract has to evolve and change, period," Porter said, referring to the battle with streaming services over residuals.

He added: "To hear (Disney CEO) Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While he makes $78,000 a day?"

Igor recently came under fire for his comments about the actors' strike and Writers Guild of America strike. "There's a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive," he said on CNBC in July.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 25: Billy Porter speaks during the 2023 New York City Pride March on June 25, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775991974 ORIG FILE ID: 1501761112
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 25: Billy Porter speaks during the 2023 New York City Pride March on June 25, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775991974 ORIG FILE ID: 1501761112

Porter continued that despite his perceived fame, he is deeply affected by the strike.

"I have to sell my house," he said. "Because we’re on strike. And I don't know when we're gonna go back (to work)."

The "Pose" alum added, "The life of an artist, until you make (disposable) money — which I haven't made yet — is still check to check."

"I was supposed to be in a new movie, and on a new television show starting in September. None of that is happening," Porter explained. "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."

The latter quote refers to a Deadline article in July that cited an unnamed Hollywood executive that said studios plan to let writers go broke before coming back to the negotiation table. "The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses," the source said.

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Hollywood actors began striking in July, 2 months after writers strike started

Hollywood actors voted to strike in July, joining already-striking writers in a move that shut down the production of countless movies and TV shows.

Meanwhile, writers have been on strike since May, holding out for improved payment contracts at a time when less-than-lucrative streaming deals are bumping up against the looming threat of artificial intelligence taking writers' jobs. Actors are also looking for better pay deals, especially from streaming services such as Netflix.

SAG-AFTRA AND Writers Guild of America union members have been striking together amid failed contract negotiations.
SAG-AFTRA AND Writers Guild of America union members have been striking together amid failed contract negotiations.

The combined SAG and Writers Guild of America strikes immediately shut down TV shows and movies currently in production; it has already delayed "Challengers," starring Zendaya, which had been set to debut at Venice International Film Festival but has now been pushed to 2024.

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The strike terms also halt promotional appearances ranging from red carpet walks to media junkets. While the duration of the strike is an unknown, some reports suggest studios are willing to hold out into the fall to win concessions.

Screen Actors Guild president Fran Drescher told USA TODAY last month that the union has "discussed what it would cost if it went for six months, so we're looking for the long haul. The gravity of a commitment like this is not lost on any of us. It's major. But we also see that we have no future and no livelihood unless we take this action, unfortunately."

Contributing: Kelly Lawler and Marco della Cava

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Billy Porter on SAG-AFTRA actors strike: 'I have to sell my house'