The reality competition will kick off its thirty second season with its full celebrity cast, including Veep star Matt Walsh, a dual SAG-AFTRA and WGA member, who last Thursday “paused” his involvement in the show.
“With the hopeful resolution and vote with the WGA, Dancing with the Stars would no longer be a struck show therefore all cast would be able to return. This includes WGA member Matt Walsh,” a rep for the actor said in a statement Monday.
The network last Thursday put in place plans to postpone DWTS‘ return after actors in its celebrity cast, particularly Walsh, Alyson Hannigan and Mira Sorvino, came under pressure from striking WGA members.
Last week, WGA picketers targeted multiple rehearsals for DWTS, which is a WGA signatory that typically employs one writer to pen talking points for the host.
Picketing on the show continued through yesterday. Just hours before the WGA-AMPTP deal was announced, a group of around 35 writers went out to picket Dancing with the Stars at TV City where producers were doing prep ahead of the Tuesday live season opener.
Following the tentative deal with the studios, all WGA picketing was suspended Sunday night.
Variety shows like DWTS are covered under the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, better known as Network Code. It is separate to the film and TV collective bargaining agreement that SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP negotiated unsuccessfully in the spring and early summer, leading to the current actors strike.
Because of that, ABC is allowed to put on DWTS, and SAG-AFTRA members are allowed to participate. In fact, SAG-AFTRA last week backed actors who are appearing on the show, noting that they are not in violation of strike rules and are required to go to work. It is the show’s WGA affiliation via the employment of one writer out of 500 crew members that made it a struck production.
Season 32 marks the return of DWTS to ABC. The show aired last season on Disney+. The new season will simulcast live on Disney+ and be available next day on Hulu.