Disney suspends Yara Shahidi, Billy Porter deals

Written by on September 15, 2023

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Disney is pausing some of their biggest first-look and overall deals, including pacts with talent like Yara Shahidi and Billy Porter.

TIME Honoring The March: An Impact Family Dinner
Yara Shahidi attends TIME Honoring The March: An Impact Family Dinner at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights on Aug. 10, 2023, in Atlanta. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for TIME)

According to Deadline, Disney has suspended various pacts across their many divisions, including at Disney Television Studios’ 20th Television and ABC Signature, FX Productions and Disney Branded Television. This includes deals with Yara Shahidi at ABC Signature, Billy Porter at FX Productions, Gina Rodriguez at 20th Television and more.

According to the report, “Disney will pay for the suspended term deals to provide salaries for their assistants through the end of 2023 and for their development executives through the first week of October.”

The move from Disney is one of many from the studios as the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRa strikes rage on in Hollywood. As strikes continue, union members are prohibited from performing their services like working on struck programs, promoting studio-attached projects and even attending award shows.

2023 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Billy Porter attends the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Sept. 12, 2023, in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have seen writers and actors fighting for fair compensation amid the streaming era of entertainment, as well as protections from artificial intelligence (A.I.).

NBCUniversal has some upcoming suspensions, including a deal with Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Prods, while CBS Studios moved to stop deals, like their pact with DeVon Franklin’s Franklin Entertainment, according to Deadline.

As theGrio previously reported, Porter opened up about the strikes in an interview over the summer, specifically calling out Disney CEO Bob Iger regarding his controversial comments on the strike, in which he referred to the writers’ and actors’ demands as “unrealistic.”

“To hear Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic?” While he makes $78,000 a day?” I don’t have any words for it, but: f*** you,” he told Evening Standard. “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.” 

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