All summer, longtime fans have been looking forward to Season 32 of Dancing With The Stars.
By all accounts, the new season’s lineup includes some big names, some extraordinary talents, and Jamie Lynn Spears.
However, fans and contestants alike may be in for a delay.
Some of the major talents are dropping out amidst the current historic strikes in the entertainment industry.
Dancing With The Stars was set to premiere very soon.
However, unless an unlikely deal goes down at the 11th hour, don’t expect to see people of varying levels of fame dancing on ABC next week.
Amidst the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, creatives in the entertainment industry — the ones who actually make the profitable television and film that people love — are carrying out a work stoppage until their guilds strike a new, fair deal.
Matt Walsh a comedian and an actor whom you might recognize from Veep.
(No, he’s not the self-described fascist by the same name; it’s always unfortunate to share a name with a notorious evil man)
He is “taking a pause” from Season 32 until a WGA contract takes shape. He is a member of the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, and the DGA. Two of those are useful guilds.
Variety spoke to ABC. The network confirmed that they are planning to postpone the Dancing With The Stars premiere.
This is a likely indicator that, whatever bluster comes out about entertainment behemoth CEOs setting aside time to strike a deal this week, it may just be a tactic to pressure the guilds.
It may be that they don’t plan to act reasonably after all … and thus the strikes will continue.
“I am taking a pause from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ until an agreement is made with the WGA,” the non-evil Matt Walsh confirms.
“I was excited to join the show,” he affirmed. “And did so under the impression that it was not a WGA show and fell under a different agreement.”
The comedian shared: “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,” the Veep star emphasized.
“Beyond our union artists,” he went on. “I am sensitive to the many people impacted by the strike and I hope for a speedy and fair resolution.”
“And,” Walsh joked, “to one day work again with all the wonderful people I met at ‘DWTS’ who tolerated my dancing.”
His statement refers to the hundreds of producers and crew members who work on the show to keep things running.
One recurring tactic during this (and other) strikes has been for AMPTP (the collective bargaining body representing the titans of industry) and proxies to suggest that writers and actors are being “unfair” towards crews.
But the writers and actors aren’t the ones who have kept these strikes up for months. That’s the AMPTP, who spent months refusing to come to the table and, as of this writing (on Thursday afternoon), refuse to reach a fair deal.
Strikes work in complex ways, and there are codes for how to do things. (When in doubt, always ask your guild. They’re there to answer your questions!)
Dancing With The Stars does employ one writer. That’s what makes the show “struck work” under union rules.
So the two-hour premiere on September 28 is looking unlikely. (What will premiere that day is Netflix’s Castlevania: Nocturne, but we’re likely looking at fairly different viewer demographics. I’ll certainly be watching, though)
During the 2007-2008 writer’s strike, one that saw the end of many excellent shows, DWTS continued as usual and re-hired its writer after the strike ended.
But, this time, one of the celebrity contestants is part of the WGA. So that’s more complex than throwing one off-screen employee under the bus. (Which, to be clear, the network shouldn’t do, either)
These massive companies have already lost much more money during the strikes than either guild’s conditions would cost.
At this point, it feels like spite. Like a small number of CEOs are personally angry that the people who created their wealth want slightly more crumbs.
The AMPTP keeps playing silly games. Now, they’re collecting silly prizes. A poor substitute for the mirror ball trophy.