'You've already starved me out': Billy Porter admits he has to sell his house amid Hollywood strikes

The award-winning actor said he is still living 'cheque-to-cheque' despite being a household name. Credit: AP

Award-winning actor Billy Porter has laid bare the financial toll the Hollywood strikes are already having on his life.

The Pose and Cinderella star - who is just an Oscar away from gaining the coveted 'EGOT' status, having won a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy - admitted: "I have to sell my house".

"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," he told the Evening Standard.

The star became a household name for his Golden Globe-nominated performance as Pray Tell in the hit series Pose, for which he became the first openly gay man to win best actor in a drama at the 2019 Emmys.

Before making it on the silver screen, Porter won a Tony for his performance in Broadway's Kinky Boots, and a Grammy for its official soundtrack.

His comments offer an insight into how the strikes are already financially impacting not only lesser-known actors and writers, but also mega stars, who have received much critical acclaim, like himself.

The writers' strike entered its 100th day on Wednesday, with members taking to the picket lines once again as contract talks stalled.

Tens of thousands of actors have taken part in the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists's (SAG-AFTRA) first major members strike in more than 40 years.

In July, the group, which represents around 160,000 actors across the US, joined tens of thousands of Writers Guild of America screenwriters who have been on strike since May.

Porter said although the strikes have only been underway several weeks, he has already financially lost out on appearing in a new movie and a television show starting in September.

"None of that is happening," he continued. "So to the person who said ‘we’re going to starve them out until they have to sell their apartments,' you’ve already starved me out".

Porter was referring to a widely circulated quote that allegedly came from an unnamed Hollywood executive regarding the strikes.

He called out issues with streaming companies' models and insisted there needs to be a "new contract" for working actors to keep up with the ever-changing cinema and TV landscape.

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Porter said: "There’s no contract for it… And they don’t have to be transparent with the numbers — it’s not Nielsen ratings anymore, the streaming companies are notoriously opaque with their viewership figures. The business has evolved. So the contract has to evolve."

The actors and writers' strikes have resulted in most Hollywood film and television productions being shut down, from the Gladiator sequel to the live action remake of Lilo & Stitch.

Some independent films and television productions are being granted waivers by SAG-AFTRA that will allow them to continue with union actors.

It's a move that union leadership says is an essential negotiating tactic, but has also proved divisive and confusing to many sweating it out on the picket lines while movie stars like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey still get to work.