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Billy Porter insists he’s ‘blue collar worker’ who never stops grafting


Billy Porter has insisted he is a “blue collar worker”.
The Tony award-winning actor, 54, has an estimated net worth of $10 million, but said the SAG-AFTRA writers’ and actors’ strikes that last year crippled Hollywood made his bank balance so lean he was forced to sell his home.
Speaking about how he is delighted to be back at work with a string of projects in the pipeline, Billy told Page Six: “I have a new album out called ‘Black Mona Lisa’, I have a movie out, ‘Our Son’, and I have a song with the movie called ‘Always Be My Man’. I am always working.
“Just because you are working does not mean you are rich… I am a blue collar freelance worker, period.
“I was on strike for 118 days. Ain’t no cheques coming in when that happened.”
Billy spoke at the 8th Blue Jacket Fashion Show at Moonlight Studios in New York City, and stressed he didn’t want people’s sympathy for his cash woes during the Hollywood walk-outs.
Jokingly referencing the hit Broadway musical ‘Evita’, he added: “Please, I am working. I am blessed. Don’t cry for me Argentina!”
“I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. Please, we are working hard, yes… that’s it though.”
He added he had sympathy with his fellow performer ‘The Color Purple’ actress Taraji P Henson, 53, who recently spoke out about being underpaid in Hollywood.
She welled up as she told journalist Gayle King, 69, in an interview in December: “I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do (and) getting paid a fraction of the cost… I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ Well, I have to. The math ain’t math-ing.”
Billy said: “When we saw Taraji break down, it was real. It was the truth.”