According to Deadline, members of the Writers Guild of America picketed outside of rehearsal spaces for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on September 20th. The 32nd season of Dancing with the Stars was originally set to premiere on Tuesday, September 26th on ABC and Disney+. However, after the picketing, contestant Matt Walsh (Into the Storm, The Hangover) has decided to take a break from the show.
Walsh made a statement, to Deadline, stating, “I am taking a pause from Dancing with the Stars until an agreement is made with the WGA.”
He continued, “I was excited to join the show and did so under the impression that it was not a WGA show and fell under a different agreement. This morning when I was informed by my union, the WGA, that it is considered struck work I walked out of my rehearsal. I have been and will always stand with my union members of the WGA, SAG and DGA.”
Walsh himself is a member of the WGA and the SAG-AFTRA.
Although Dancing with the Stars is involved with the SAG-AFTRA, the show is under the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting. Therefore, there are no issues with the show’s premiere and contestants in relation to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began on July 14th. The series, though, is affiliated with the Writers Guild of America as one writer is under a WGA contract.
Walsh added, “Beyond our union artists, I am sensitive to the many people impacted by the strike and I hope for a speedy and fair resolution, and to one day work again with all the wonderful people I met at DWTS who tolerated my dancing.”
ABC has yet to confirm if the premiere date for Dancing with the Stars will be moved. However, according to Deadline, the network is considering putting plans in place to postpone the season in light of Walsh’s departure.