Next week, “Dancing with the Stars” returns for its thirty-second season on ABC and Disney+.  The series is 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.

The show is produced in front of a live audience by BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions, and due to the ongoing actors and writers’ strikes, the show has now become entangled in the dispute following the recent decision by Drew Barrymore, Bill Maher and Jennifer Hudson to delay their return to our screens due to the backlash about being seen as a scab.

While “Dancing With The Stars” is a reality series, that is unscripted, which would allow the show to continue to be created.  However, according to Deadline, members of the Writer’s Guild Of America, including David Slack are questioning why “Dancing With The Stars” is returning, since it is classed as a WGA show and why the actors and hosts, are crossing their picket line to create the show.

Dancing with the Stars is a WGA-covered show. Its writers are on strike, and they can’t make the show without scab writing. Hope @alfonso_ribeiro, @juliannehough, @misterhough, @MiraSorvino, @alydenisof & @jason_mraz do the right thing and refuse to cross our picket line. #WGAStrong.

By appearing on a WGA-covered show using scab writing, anyone appearing on Dancing With the Stars will be emboldening the AMPTP to refuse to make deals while they wait to see if scab writing works …Writers have been on strike for 139 days and counting. Most shows are shut down. By providing studios with a scab-written show, it makes the strike take longer, keeping every other crew in Hollywood out of work … I know you’re all under contract & this is a tough situation. But if Drew Barrymore can step up and do the right thing alone, I hope you can do this together in solidarity.”

It should be noted, that while “Dancing With The Stars” has one writer, who writes talking points for the host Alfonso Ribeiro.  it still employs another 500 people, who aren’t WGA members.  The Screen Actor’s Guild has already signed off on the next season of “Dancing With The Stars”, along with other celebrity gameshows like “Jeopardy” and “Wheel Of Fortune”, since the show will be working in compliance with SAG-AFTRA rules,

During the last writer’s strike in 2007/2009, the show continued to air and was not picketed, but there is now talk that the show could end up becoming picketed. Many of the stars of the show, including Alyson Hannigan and Matt Walsh are being questioned on social media about appearing on the show.  With Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, replying:

“No we are allowed to do reality / unscripted /competition or documentary shows. It’s a different contract.”

However, Cheryl Burke, who is a former pro on the show, told Variety, that they should have not continued with the show during the strikes.

Well, after the Drew Barrymore thing, I have mixed feelings. Even in the pandemic, people can say, “Why would you do this?” When you’re talking about the entertainment industry, this is a sensitive subject. In order for things to change, we have to stick together, point blank, because if one show just decides to think about the show on its own, this is not going to make big changes. It is not going to change the way these other people — the opposing team — are thinking. At the end of the day, we have to stick together because that’s the only way to ever make any significant change. Even the cast of “Friends,” when they asked for more money, they all stuck together. The problem is that if we don’t, then we’re setting a precedent, and I don’t think it’s gonna be good for the show, to be quite honest, in the long run. I understand what they’re thinking and I get it. It’s a business, but there is no business without the rest of the business.

She added:

I think they should hold tight. I think we need to stand as one. We need to unite for real, and not just say we’re united.

“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.

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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