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Billy Porter is opening up about the real-life consequences he’s facing due to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.

Source: Variety / Getty

 In a recent interview with Evening Standard, the Emmy-winning actor revealed that he must sell his house amid the ongoing strikes to save money. He spoke to the outlet to promote his music career, steering clear of discussing any of his film and television work.

“I have to sell my house,” Porter said when discussing the strikes. “Yeah! Because we’re on strike. And I don’t know when we’re gonna go back. The life of an artist, until you make f***-you money — which I haven’t made yet — is still check-to-check.”

He continued,

“I was supposed to be in a new movie and on a new television show starting in September. 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.”

With that, Porter was referring to a Deadline article published in July that cited an anonymous Hollywood executive saying the studios would hold out on meeting with the WGA again until its members went broke. The Pose alum also criticized Disney CEO Bob Iger for an interview he gave that same month, in which he said WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikers were not being “realistic” with their demands.

“In the late ’50s, early ’60s, when they structured a way for artists to be compensated properly through residual [payments], it allowed for the two percent of working actors — and there are 150,000 people in our union — who work consistently… Then streaming came in,” Porter explained. “There’s no contract for it…And they don’t have to be transparent with the numbers — it’s not Nielsen ratings anymore. The streaming companies are notoriously opaque with their viewership figures. The business has evolved. So the contract has to evolve and change, period. 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: f*** you,” Porter said about Iger. “That’s not useful, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. I haven’t engaged because I’m so enraged… When I go back I will join the picket lines.”

When asked about the strikes in July, Iger responded: “It’s very disturbing to me. We’ve talked about disruptive forces on this business and all the challenges we’re facing, the recovery from COVID which is ongoing, it’s not completely back.”

“This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption,” the Disney CEO continued. “There’s a level of expectation that [strikers] 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.”

You can read Porter’s latest profile with Evening Standard here.


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