ABC is considering postponing the highly anticipated 32nd season of “Dancing With the Stars” just one week before its scheduled premiere.
This decision came after actor Matt Walsh’s announcement that he will be stepping away from the show, citing the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America as the reason for his hiatus.
“I was excited to join the show and did so under the impression that it was not a WGA show and fell under a different agreement,” Walsh said.
“This morning when I was informed by my union, the WGA, that it is considered struck work, I walked out of my rehearsal. I have been and will always stand with my union members of the WGA, SAG and DGA,” the “Veep” actor said in a statement.
Walsh, a prominent figure as a founding member of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade comedy group, had only recently been unveiled as a cast member for the forthcoming season, just last week. His dancing partner on “Dancing With the Stars” was confirmed to be the seasoned pro, Koko Iwasaki.
Walsh expressed his aspiration to return to “DWTS” later, once the strike is resolved.
“Beyond our union artists, I am sensitive to the many people impacted by the strike, and I hope for a speedy and fair resolution and to one day work again with all the wonderful people I met at DWTS who tolerated my dancing,” Walsh added.
For nearly five months, screenwriters belonging to the WGA have been engaged in a strike that, in tandem with a three-month-long strike by the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union, has effectively paralyzed Hollywood. Demands for improved compensation, working conditions, safeguards against AI disruption, and various other industry reforms have been factors.
The ongoing WGA strike has now reached 144 days and continues to escalate. This strike surpassed the length of the writers’ strike in 2007-08, which endured for 100 days and inflicted a substantial $2.1 billion economic toll on the California economy.
AFP contributed to this story.
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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