Billy Porter said the ongoing strikes by writers and actors have forced him to make tough financial decisions.
“I have to sell my house,” the Pose star, 53 – who lives in New York – revealed to the evening standard. “I don’t know when we’re going back (to work).”
Billy, who is in England to promote his music career, explained: “An artist’s life, until you make some f**k-you money, which I haven’t made yet, is always checked.”
He said two of his upcoming projects have been canceled as Hollywood remains at a standstill.
“I was supposed to be in a new movie and a new TV show starting in September. None of that is happening,” the Emmy winner said.
Tough Decisions: Billy Porter says ongoing strikes by actors and writers have left him with no choice but to sell his house; seen in July 2023
“I have to sell my house,” the Pose star, 53, revealed to the Evening Standard. ‘I don’t know when we’re going back (to work)’; seen in Pose (2020)
Billy didn’t mention any project by name, but IMDB listed him to star in James Baldwin’s upcoming biopic.
“So to the person who said ‘we’re going to starve them until they sell their apartments’, you’ve already starved me.”
This final flourish may have referred to an article by Deadlinein which an unnamed Hollywood executive said, “The end game is to let things drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their homes.”
Another insider called the strategy “cruel but necessary evil.”
Representatives for the writers met with studio executives last week to discuss, but nothing was settled.
The economic impact is particularly felt in California, where many of SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000 members live.
The film and television industry accounts for more than 700,000 jobs and some $70 billion in salaries per year, according to the California Film Commission.
Georgia, which has a strong film production industry, was also affected by the strike.
Southern film companies produce at least $3.5 billion in annual wages and more than 46,000 jobs, according to CBS News.
Life as an artist: The Pose star, 53, said the strike was hurting his financial health. “An artist’s life, until you earn money, which I haven’t earned yet, is always a check for a check”
Music: Billy was in London to promote his music career and his new single, Broke a Sweat
Pay: One of the biggest issues is pay, including residual money. “Streaming companies are notoriously opaque with their viewership numbers. The business has evolved. So the contract has to evolve and change, period’ (Pictured in New York in June)
Unrealistic: Hollywood studio executives have called the demands of striking actors and writers unrealistic. Billy retorted: ‘To hear (Disney CEO) Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? When he earns $78,000 a day?
US News and World Report found that the median salary for an actor was $46,960 in 2021.
Stars such as George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts have contributed to an emergency fund that has raised over $15 million for out-of-work actors.
No such emergency fund has been announced for the 11,000 striking writers.
One of the biggest hurdles to a deal are payouts and residuals for projects viewed through streaming services.
“There’s no contract for that…And they don’t have to be transparent with the numbers — it’s not Nielsen’s ratings anymore,” Porter said.
“Streaming companies are notoriously opaque with their viewership numbers. The business has evolved. The contract must therefore evolve and change, period.
He continued: “To hear (Disney CEO) Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic?” When he earns $78,000 a day? My child, we must get our money back!’