Dancing with the Stars Wins Support From SAG-AFTRA, May Save Season 32

Dancing with the Stars
(ABC/Art Streiber)

What is happening with Dancing with the Stars? If your head is spinning, you’re in good company. Yesterday, actor and comedian Matt Walsh bowed out of the show. "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,” he said in a statement.

Striking Writers Guild of America writers picketed because the show employs one WGA member. According to an insider close to DWTS, ABC was considering backing down. "There are over 500 people employed for the show and the talent are allowed to work on this show under the SAG Network Code agreement, but due to rising pressure that the talent is receiving, we are preparing to postpone," the source said.

But don’t put away your judge’s paddle yet. SAG-AFTRA is supporting the DWTS contestants.

Could the DWTS show go on?

“Our members appearing on Dancing with the Stars are working under the Network Code agreement, which is a non-struck contract,” a union spokesperson told The Messenger in a statement. “They are required to go to work, are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules and we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations.”

DWTS is under a different agreement. “The majority of our members on Dancing with the Stars had contractual obligations to the show prior to the strike. Many are under option agreements that require them to return to the show if the producer exercises their option which the producer has done,” the statement read. My head is on swivel right now.

The statement concluded, “It is important to recognize that SAG-AFTRA is fighting against the studios and not members who are required to go to work every day under other union contracts or personal service agreements. We stand with our union siblings across the industry as we also recognize our obligations under federal labor law.”

I am cautiously optimistic that we may see celebrities dancing in the ballroom soon.

As of now, Season 32 of Dancing with the Stars premieres on Tuesday, September 26 at 8/7c on ABC, streaming live on Disney Plus, and available the next day on Hulu.


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