Writers Now Selling Their Houses Because Of Disney?

By TeeJay Small | Updated

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The ongoing Writers Guild of America strike has now been dragging on for over three months and counting, rapidly nearing the length of the previous strike, which ran for 100 days from late 2007 until early 2008. For some artists in Hollywood, this has begun to have real-world consequences, which make living in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles nearly impossible. According to a write-up from The Hollywood Reporter, Pose star Billy Porter recently explained that Disney’s inability to come to the negotiating table has cost him his home.

Disney is one of the companies refusing to negotiate with the striking actors and writers, causing stars like Billy Porter to sell their homes.

Porter elucidated his comments by explaining that most artists in the industry, be they writers, directors, actors, or behind-the-scenes crew, are trapped in an endless cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, save for the lucky few who are lucky enough to garner, in his own words, “F***-you money.”

The performer explained that he had purchased his home in Los Angeles while laboring under the assumption that his scheduled projects with Disney would continue to pay, but the studio’s continued unwillingness to make an agreement with their writers and performers have caused all active projects to be put on an indefinite pause.

bob iger disney
Disney CEO Bob Iger

This is incredibly disheartening, particularly as many spaces in the United States are facing an unreasonable crowd of unhoused citizens, due to factors such as financial instability, housing insecurity, and environmental disasters.

Disney’s CEO Bob Iger is rumored to be the infamous anonymous CEO that said the plan was to drive writers and actors to homelessness before negotiating with the unions.

Los Angeles county itself is currently facing one of its worst upticks in homelessness in recent memory, with tens of thousands of individuals finding themselves incapable of complying with the ever-growing cost of living. For Disney and the other streamers which comprise the AMPTP, this isn’t just incidental, it’s a bargaining chip.

A now viral report from Deadline, which was released last month, specifically quoted an unnamed studio executive who stated in no uncertain terms that forcing writers and actors into financial ruin in an effort to force them out of their homes is part of the AMPTP’s playbook. While there is no confirmation that the executive works for Disney specifically, many people have taken the comments to heart and pointed their frustrations at long-time Disney head Bob Iger.

Iger specifically landed himself in hot water over a recent interview in which the Disney CEO downplayed the AMPTP’s role in the strikes in an attempt to shift the blame onto the unions. Iger’s comments slammed union heads as unrealistic and greedy, despite the AMPTP’s ongoing inability to bring a fair and reasonable deal to the table, resulting in multiple strikes breaking out across the entertainment industry.

Bob Iger has also been increasing tensions with Disney’s use of artifical intelligence, and insisting that it’s the unions to blame for the strike due to “unrealistic” demands.

Billy Porter shared some choice words for Iger, Disney, and the corporate executives writ large who believe they can strong-arm a union of tens of thousands of hard-working individuals into forced homelessness as a means to make them accept unfair wages and a lack of benefits. Not mincing words, Porter simply stated “F*** you. That’s not useful, so I’ve kept my mouth shut.”

Of course, Disney executives and those running the AMPTP are more than welcome to come back to the negotiating table at their earliest convenience if they have an earnest desire to put these strikes to rest. In the meantime, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have inspired unions across the country to demand fair pay and greater benefits from their employers, sparking a countrywide series of worker solidarity.