Rehearsals for the upcoming thirty-second season of “Dancing With The Stars” are currently underway at the BBC Studios in Los Angeles and members of the Writer’s Guild Of America have been protesting with a picket outside the event.

Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough host the new series, which pairs celebrities with trained ballroom dancers to compete in themed choreographed dance routines that are judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, including Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough. The new season features a celebrity lineup of many actors, including Alyson Hannigan, Matt Walsh and Mira Sorvino, who have all been signed off by the Screen Actor’s Guild, since the show will be working in compliance with SAG-AFTRA rules, as it is a competition show.

Following the decision by many other celebrities, such as Drew Barrymore, Bill Maher and Jennifer Hudson, to delay their return to our screens for their own unscripted shows due to the backlash from writers, the WGA is now putting pressure on the actors and Disney over the return of “Dancing With The Stars”, to follow suit and delay the launch of the show on ABC and Disney+.

While “Dancing With The Stars” is an unscripted reality series, which would allow the show to continue to be created.  However, the Writer’s Guild Of America classed it as a WGA show since the show has a single writer, who writes talking points for the host Alfonso Ribeiro.   The upcoming season does, however,  still employ another 500 people, who aren’t WGA members.

One of the picketers told Deadline:

“The WGA respects all writing whether it’s a single writer on a feature film with 500 people or it’s a single writer on a TV show with 500 people, it’s all the same to us and we’re going to protect writing across the board.

Dancing with the Stars is a WGA signatory show. It shouldn’t be shooting right now. ABC has no fall programming, narratively speaking, because they chose to impose this strike upon us so we want to disrupt all of their programming as much as we can so they’ll come back to the table with a reasonable offer.”

At the picket, members of the writer’s guild have been standing outside the production, with signs calling out the specific celebrities taking part in the competition.

“Dancing With The Stars” returns on Tuesday, 26th September 2023, with an extended episode at 8 pm ET on ABC and on Disney+ in the US and Canada.   With the show airing live, it’s likely that if the strike isn’t over by next week (there is a meeting between the studios and writers today), there could be some disruption to the filming of the show, as the picketers are already being as loud as possible during the rehearsals.

Do you think “Dancing With The Stars” should return during the strikes?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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