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Actor and Democrat Activist Billy Porter Claims He Has To Sell His House Because of Hollywood Strikes

"So to the person who said ‘we’re going to starve them out until they have to sell their apartments,’" Porter said, "you’ve already starved me out."

Actor and Democratic Party activist Billy Porter claims he must sell his house because of the Hollywood strikes.

The Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are striking to stop artificial intelligence from taking over the jobs of writers and actors and to obtain higher compensation from streaming services.

During an interview with the Evening Standard, Porter explained that he could not discuss any of his acting work, whether current or historical.

“Because of the strike,” Porter explained. “Child, we got to get our money! But one of the reasons I can’t talk about the strike is because of the sh-t that I’ve seen some lay people write about us: ‘Just a bunch of millionaires trying to get more millions.'”

Porter blasted people who watched television to get through the COVID lockdowns but are not supporting the actors now.

The actor said that in London, where the interview was conducted, he doesn’t hear “that bile from people who survived a pandemic because they could turn on their television and watch us. And they discard us so quickly. Because they think we’re entitled. Meanwhile, we’re getting six cent cheques. It hurts my feelings.”

“In the late Fifties, early Sixties, 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…” Porter began to explain. “Then streaming came in. There’s no contract for it… And they don’t have to be transparent with the numbers — it’s not Nielsen ratings anymore.”

The actors on strike are fighting to be compensated for streaming views on platforms like Netflix and Hulu.

“The streaming companies are notoriously opaque with their viewership figures. The business has evolved. So the contract has to evolve,” he said.

Porter also called out Disney’s Bob Iger, who angered the strikers last month during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box. The Disney chief executive had said that the actors are not being “realistic” with their expectations and that the strike was “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.”

“To hear Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While he makes $78,000 a day?” Porter asked. “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. I’m glad I’ve been over here. But when I go back I will join the picket lines.”

Porter then claimed that he has to sell his house because the strike has interfered with planned projects.

“I have to sell my house,” Porter asserted.

“Really?” the interviewer asked.

“Yeah! Because we’re on strike. And 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 cheque-to-cheque. 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,’” Porter said, “you’ve already starved me out.”


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