What a roller coaster day for that Dancing with the stars.
Thursday started with news that ABC executives were considering delaying the start of the new season on September 26 after notable writers began picking up production in reasonable days. Then that message came Veep actor Matt Walsh, one of the stars who will compete in season 32, decided to ‘pause’ his involvement with the show until an agreement is made with the (Writers Guild of America). He elaborated on that decision, posting on Instagram: “I was excited to be on the show and did so under the impression that it was not a WGA show and was under a different agreement. When I was told this morning by my union, the WGA, that it was considered strike work, I left my rehearsal.”
Hours later, SAG-AFTRA released a statement clarifying that its members are working on it Dancing with the stars — actors like Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, How I met your mother Alyson Hannigan, Xochitl Gomez and Jamie Lynn Spears, among others, are not in violation of the strike rules. “Our members show up Dancing with the stars work under the Network Code Agreement, which is an unclosed contract. They are required to go to work, they do not violate SAG-AFTRA’s strike rules and we support them in meeting their contractual obligations,” the union said in a statement.
Hours afterwards, DWTS pro Gleb Savchencko had slipped into a tuxedo to appear at the Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he was scheduled to offer a dance lesson as part of the event’s live auction. Before he did that, though, he tried to wrap his head around the back-and-forth and the possible delayed start.
“I mean, it’s crazy,” he said. ‘Actually, this whole thing has been going on for a few days. I’m (a member) of SAG and SAG supports it because we’re an unscripted reality TV show, so we’re ready to go. We don’t have WGA writers; it’s not a scripted show. We are never given a script, nor are we told what to say or what to do. So I’m a little shocked that one little tweet can create so much buzz.”
Savchenko referenced the tweet below from TV writer and producer David Slack, who noted that DWTS “is a WGA-covered show. The writers are on strike and they can’t make the show without scab writing.
Savchenko said he hopes ABC bosses can reach a resolution because even without Walsh “it’s just going to be unfair to a lot of people because it’s not just Matt who’s an actor and represents that world, it’s also my partner , Mira Sorvino. .” He added, “I just hope we can find out before the premiere, which is literally four days away, because we have a lot of actors in the cast for this season.”
The veteran cast member also said Sorvino, a union supporter, is in a tough spot. “She is very supportive, but at the same time she supports all the other people who are striking. She is in a very difficult situation whether she should continue, which is legal. She doesn’t break any rules. But I really hope so, and we’re all praying that they figure it out, and we’ll continue with it on Tuesday.”
DWTS is scheduled for a two-and-a-half-hour premiere on September 26 on ABC and simulcast on Disney+. The new season marks a return to ABC after an exclusive showing on Disney+ last season.