Just as suspected, it has happened. Matt Walsh is “taking a pause” from his role on Dancing with the Stars.
Matt was announced as a part of the Season 32 cast last week, and immediately, it set off a rumble of chatter as questions arose about whether he should have accepted the spot.
Since DWTS is a WGA show and Matt is a WGA member, the union could not possibly want him competing when the new season starts.
Right now, WGA and SAG-AFTRA are on strike, and while DWTS Is not a SAG-AFTRA show since it’s reality TV, it does employ one WGA writer — which means it’s a struck show right now.
With Dancing with the Stars rehearsals in full swing, WGA picketers have begun to strike outside the studio, and many of them have been calling Matt Walsh by name along with SAG-AFTRA members Alyson Hannigan and Mira Sorvino.
With the Season 32 premiere just days away, Matt has dropped out. Or, as he put it, — “paused” his participation.
Matt Walsh drops out of Dancing with the Stars
Ahead of the Season 32 premiere, Matt Walsh revealed that he would not be hitting the ballroom to show off his skills as he doesn’t want to be a scab and cross the picket line. He also claims that he didn’t know he would be doing that when he signed up.
“I am taking a pause from Dancing with the Stars until an agreement is made with the WGA,” Matt revealed to Deadline. “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.”
Matt is hopeful that the strike will end and that he can return to Dancing with the Stars, but with the premiere date set for this Tuesday, that seems highly unlikely. He may have to return for a future season instead.
“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,” Matt explained.
Dancing with the Stars has one WGA writer
Dancing with the Stars is mostly unscripted, but one issue that keeps coming up is the fact that they do use one WGA writer to provide talking points for the hosts.
Because of that, DWTS is considered a WGA show and, as such, is considered struck work right now, meaning WGA members should not sign on or cross the picket line to dance.
When WGA went on strike back in 2007-2008, Dancing with the Stars went on without their WGA writer and aired a season anyway. Then, after the strike was over, re-hired that writer and continued on.
It seems that is the plan for the ABC dance competition again this year, so the dialog between co-hosts Julianna Hough and Alfonso Ribiero could be pretty interesting since they won’t have a professional writer helping them.
Dancing with the Stars premieres on Tuesday, September 26 at 8/7c on ABC.