The WGA or SAG-AFTRA strikes don’t impact most reality television.
As we get closer to the Dancing with the Stars Season 32 premiere date, we’re learning that the ABC dancing competition is actually a WGA series.
DWTS is the latest show to be hit with WGA picketers, and according to Deadline, there were at least 25 people outside the West Hollywood studio on Wednesday demanding that the show not go on amid the strikes. More picketers are expected to show up.
The goal is to put pressure on production to either postpone the show altogether or to get some of the celebrity dancers to back out before premiere day in support of the striking writers and actors.
One of the DWTS celebs being targeted in all this is Matt Walsh, who is dancing alongside Koko Iwasaki.
Matt is a WGA member; as such, he’s technically breaking strike rules by being on the show. For that, he is being targeted the most by picketers outside of the studio. Mira Sorvino and Alyson Hannigan are also on their radar.
Though those specific actors are being called out, the ultimate goal is to shut down the show altogether, forcing ABC back to the table to negotiate contracts with the unions.
“Dancing with the Stars is a WGA signatory show. It shouldn’t be shooting right now. 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,” one of the picketers told Deadline.
Will Matt Walsh drop out of DWTS ahead of the premiere?
As we get closer to premiere day, there has been a lot of speculation that Matt Walsh may drop out from the DWTS lineup.
It’s not something he has talked about publicly, but a tweet was shared on Reddit, and now, the conversation has started.
“One of the stars, @mrmattwalsh, who is one of my idols, is in a really tough bind,” the tweet began. “He’s a WGA writer too. So he must cross our picket line as a member to go to work. Again he probably doesn’t even know that! Most people think reality shows aren’t WGA, but #DWTSisWGA.”
That is true as Dancing with the Stars employs one WGA writer among its 500-person crew, making it a WGA show.
One Redditor thought maybe Matt would “flop” so he could quickly end his run on the show.
Could Matt Walsh be kicked out of WGA, effectively ending his Hollywood writing career? One Redditor sure thinks so.
“I assume if Matt appears on DWTS, a show using scab writers (according to the Twitter source, and the source seems reputable), he will be kicked out of WGA. I don’t know why Matt would risk this unless he has no interest in writing professionally again.”
Adrian Peterson’s casting causes outrage
While Dancing with the Stars fans worry about Matt Walsh and whether he should be dancing considering his union affiliation, Adrian Peterson has fans of the show upset for a different reason.
Former NFL running back Adrian Peterson joined the DWTS cast for Season 32, a choice many are questioning due to his past legal issues.
In 2014, Adrian was charged with felony child abuse after he struck his son with a tree branch. He pleaded no contest, which landed him with a fine, community service, and probation.
Many feel his past charges should have been enough for DWTS production to pass on his casting.
Dancing with the Stars premieres on Tuesday, September 26 at 8/7c on ABC.