Dancing with the Stars
(ABC/Art Streiber)

Dancing with the Stars Rehearsals Face WGA Picket

Season 32 of Dancing with the Stars is already off to a bumpy start. And it hasn’t even premiered yet!

The Writer’s Guild of America pressured DWTS to put off its September 26 premiere. Matt Walsh, best known for the comedy Veep, is a member of the WGA. Fans have been concerned that he would have to drop out of the competition.

Now striking writers are picketing DWTS. Deadline has the scoop.

No one wants to be a scab

Around 25 writers began picketing the show’s rehearsal about 8 a.m., September 20. So, what is the goal of picketing? If the writers get their way, ABC will either push back the premiere or possibly scrap the season. Or, Matt and actresses Mira Sorvino and Alyson Hannigan will quit the show.

These particular stars are being singled out with their names on picket signs. That must be awkward. The striking writers are also chanting louder than usual to disrupt rehearsals.

Deadline reported that a couple of SUVs pulled up, but quickly departed. Could those be the targeted celebrities?

Several other show hosts have changed their minds and decided to pump the brakes until the strike has ended. These hosts include Jennifer Hudson, Bill Maher, Drew Barrymore, and The Talk co-hosts.

Why is DWTS so important right now?

DWTS has 500 employees, including one writer who is a WGA member. “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,” one picketing writer explained to Deadline.

“Dancing with the Stars is a WGA signatory show. It shouldn’t be shooting right now,” the insider said. “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.”

David Slack, who is the executive producer of MacGyver, said it is important that DWTS not continue. “The reason that it’s so important that Dancing with the Stars not move forward with scab writing is that it encourages the studio to make the strike last longer and to hold out to see if other shows will be able to move forward with scab writing,” he stated. “While it may put the crew for Dancing with the Stars back to work, that’s keeping every other crew in Hollywood out of work.”

Unfortunately, DWTS figures prominently in what is left of ABC’s fall programming. Hopefully, both sides can work out something soon.

Season 32 of Dancing with the Stars premieres on Tuesday, September 26 at 8/7c on ABC, streaming live on Disney Plus, and available the next day on Hulu.