Billy Porter is already feeling the effects of Hollywood’s gridlock amid writers’ and actors’ strikes.
The Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor and singer told the London Evening Standard last weekend that he’s feeling the pressure to downsize without generating any significant income anytime soon.
“I have to sell my house,” Porter told the publication. “Because we’re on strike. And I don’t know when we will return [to work]. An artist’s life until you make a hell of a lot of money – which I haven’t made yet – is still check-to-check.”
Though Porter had anticipated working on both a new film and a television series, which was slated to start in September, he said, “None of that is happening.”
“So to the person who said, ‘We’re going to starve them until they have to sell their homes,’ you’ve already starved me,” he added, referring to a popular quote Attributed to an unnamed Hollywood studio executive.
Actors have been on strike since July 14. The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is asking studios for higher residual balances from streaming platforms and tighter protections against the use of artificial intelligence, among other things, as part of a new deal, but negotiations have stalled .
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents Hollywood screenwriters, has been on strike since May 2nd. (HuffPost’s unionized employees are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East.)
Porter – a 2019 Emmy winner for his portrayal of Pray Tell in “Pose” – spoke to the Evening Standard to discuss his new album “Black Mona Lisa.’ According to the stipulations of the strike, he was careful not to go into details about his film and television work in the interview.
Still, he criticized Disney CEO Bob Iger’s headline-grabbing claims that actors and writers were “very disruptive” while making claims that were “not realistic.”
“To hear Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While making $78,000 a day? I don’t have the words for it, but: Fuck you”, the newly minted single. “It’s not useful, so I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t get engaged because I’m so angry. I’m glad I was here. But when I come back I will join the pickets.”