ABC is “preparing to postpone” the Sept. 26 premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Access Hollywood has learned.
“Note that there are over 500 people employed for the show and the talent are allowed to work on this show under the SAG Network Code Agreement but due to rising pressure talent is receiving, we are preparing to postpone,” a source close to production told Access Hollywood.
The move is said to come as some “DWTS” contestants have reportedly come under pressure for their participation amid the WGA and AMPTP strikes, which have been going on for several months.
Matt Walsh already halted his participation in the show, announcing the news on his Instagram Story on Thursday.
“I am taking a pause from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ until an agreement is made with the WGA,” the “Veep” alum said. “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.”
The actor claimed in his post that he immediately paused his involvement when he realized he was participating in struck work.
“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,” he said. “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.”
As a variety/reality show, “DWTS” reportedly falls under a separate contract than the film and TV SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement that expired on June 30. Per Deadline, “DWTS” is a WGA signatory but typically only employs one writer to provide talking points to the hosts and that overall, the show is unscripted.