The Hollywood strike has reached its 100th-day mark, and Billy Porter is speaking out. Well, kind of.
In a recent rooftop interview with the London publication, The Evening Standard, the Tony Award-winning actor gets candid and provides a life and professional update. Porter is currently overseas with what the outlet described as “one of the hottest theatre shows in London,” A Strange Loop.
While sipping a cocktail and wearing Rick Owens knee-high boots, Porter answers questions on his stage play, his recent divorce from husband Adam Smith, and thoughts on the current strike. Porter shares his hesitation in speaking out “because of the s**t that I’ve seen some lay people write about us: ‘Just a bunch of millionaires trying to get more millions.’”
Which is why Porter took offense to Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer of Disney, out-of-touch comments on the strike. “To hear Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While he makes $78,000 a day?” he said.
Somewhat insulting? “I don’t have any words for it, but: f*** 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.” He added, “I have to sell my house.”
Then when asked about how the strike impacts him, The Evening Standard shares that the 53-year-old actor said,
“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***-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,” Porter shared.
What Is The “Hollywood Strike?” Who Is Involved?
Porter’s statements exemplify how celebrities are not immune to the impact of work and professional changes. This is especially true when the changes relate to pay, morale, and overall culture and environment. And in instances like this, Black people are repeatedly affected the most.
The Hollywood strike refers to a current stand-off between film and television industry members. The strike began with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which called for increased compensation, better residuals, staffing requirements, protections from artificial intelligence job interference, and more in March 2023. After their demands weren’t met, the WGA officially went on strike in May.
Members of the WGA provide content, jokes, scripts, and the like for many mainstream shows. Without writers, new shows have nearly come to a halt.
Following the initial strike, individual actors, organizations, and allies spoke out and stood up in solidarity with the Hollywood writers. And in July, the Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which represents many screen starlets, also agreed to go on strike. SAG’s action marked the first time in 60 years that the writers and actors have been on a joint strike.
21 Ninety spoke with Black actors and creators about the strike. “Hustle and Flow” actress Taraji P. Henson shared her thoughts.
“I’m really concerned about this AI movement. [I saw a video] on social media where Nicki Minaj’s whole likeness was used. Oh my God, have we come to this point? I mean, you hear about it, you read about it, but once you actually see it happening, that’s when it’s like, we have a really big problem here,” she explained to 21 Ninety.
With the 100th day of the strike on August 9, the ultimate impact of the strike remains uncertain. Here is a list of Black-led organizations, collectives, and production houses supporting Black writers, filmmakers, and creatives of color.
Billy Porter Says He Has To Sell His House Amid SAG-AFTRA Strike was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
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