This week, the ABC series, “Dancing With The Stars”, has been getting lots of attention ahead of its return to our screens next week, for all the wrong reasons as the show is the latest to become caught up in the debate over the actors and writers’ strikes.
Hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough, the hit series 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.
Earlier this week, the writer’s guild members started picketing the rehearsals for the show, when it became known that while it is a competition show, in previous seasons, they hired a WGA writer to help prepare notes for the host. This has resulted in one of the celebrities taking part in the show, Matt Walsh, pausing his work on the show, since he is also a member of WGA and has been informed that he would be crossing a picket if he continued to work on the show. Disney has even been making plans for the show, should they need to delay the show’s premiere, if any more contestants drop out. There is also a hope that following three days of meetings between the unions and studios, that the writer’s strike could be resolved by the time “Dancing With The Stars” is due to begin airing on ABC and Disney+.
However, the other show’s celebrities, including actors Mira Sorvino, Xochitl Gomez, Barry Williams, Jamie Lynn Spears. and Alyson Hannigan, have also been under pressure over their involvement in the show, since the Screen Actor’s Guild Of America is also on strike over better working conditions and pay.
SAG-AFTRA has issued a statement via Deadline, confirming that the actors have their support in working on “Dancing With The Stars”, stating that due to a Network Code agreement, the actors taking part in the show are not in violation of strike rules and are required to go to work.
“We support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations. 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.
By not showing up to work, our performers can be held in breach of contract and the Union is prohibited from advising them not to work,” it added. We stand with our union siblings across the industry as we also recognize our obligations under federal labor law.
Hopefully, with the Screen Actor’s Union coming out to support the actors, this will reduce the abuse they have been getting online, over their involvement in a show, which they are contractly allowed to work on.
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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.