Billy Porter Plans to Sell His House Amid Ongoing Hollywood Strikes
The ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes are taking their financial toll. Take it from Billy Porter, who’s putting his home on the market to make ends meet as actors and writers continue fighting for fair pay. “I have to sell my house . . . because we’re on strike,” Porter told the Evening Standard in an interview published on Aug. 4. “I don’t know when we’re gonna go back [to work]. The life of an artist, until you make f*ck-you money – which I haven’t made yet – is still check-to-check.”
“You’ve already starved me out.”
The “Pose” star, who was cast in a James Baldwin biopic shortly before the Hollywood strikes began, noted that his future projects are on hold, like those of many other actors and writers. “I was supposed to be in a new movie and on a new television show starting in September. None of that is happening,” he said. “So to the person who said, ‘We’re going to starve them out until they have to sell their apartments,'” he added, quoting an unnamed studio executive who shared this notion with Deadline, “you’ve already starved me out.”
Porter noted that “some lay people” assume all actors are wealthy and those striking are “just a bunch of millionaires trying to get more millions.” But that isn’t the case, thanks to dwindling residual payments amid the streaming boom. “They think we’re entitled. Meanwhile, we’re getting six-cent checks,” he said. Porter also took aim at Disney CEO Bob Iger, who recently said striking writers and actors are not being realistic with their expectations. “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*ck you.’ That’s not useful, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. I haven’t engaged because I’m so enraged,” he said.
The Hollywood writers’ strike officially started on May 2, and actors followed suit by going on strike on July 14 after negotiations failed with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Countless celebrities – from Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Garner to Jeremy Allen White and Rosario Dawson – have shown their support by joining the picket line in New York City and Los Angeles. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher continues to share updates about the fight for fair contracts, stating that the union is prepared to strike “for the next six months” if need be. “We’re really in it to win it,” she said on the “Today” show on Aug. 1.