Actor Matt Walsh steps away from “Dancing with the Stars” amid WGA strike

Actor Matt Walsh steps away from “Dancing with the Stars” amid WGA strike


By Gina Martinez

/ CBS News

WGA, Hollywood studios to resume talks

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Actor Matt Walsh has decided to take a pause from participating in the latest season of “Dancing with the Stars” due to the ongoing writer’s strike

On Thursday, the “Veep” star said that he would step away from the dancing competition until the Writers Guild of America can reach an agreement with Hollywood studios. The WGA has been on strike for four and a half months, which, combined with the simultaneous ongoing strike of members of SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors, has brought most TV and film production toa standstill.

“I am taking a pause from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ until an agreement is made with the WGA,” Walsh said in a statement obtained by CBS News. “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. This morning when I was informed by my union, the WGA, that it is considered struck work I walked out of my rehearsal.”

Los Angeles Special Screening Of Searchlight Pictures'
Matt Walsh on June 09, 2023.


Walsh expressed his support for striking actors and writers and said he hopes to be able to return to “Dancing with the Stars.”

“I have been and will always stand with my union members of the WGA, SAG, and DGA,” he continued. “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.”

SAG-AFTRA noted in a statement Thursday that “Dancing with the Stars” is “not subject to the union’s strike order,” meaning if an agreement were reached with the WGA but not SAG-AFTRA, Walsh would be free to return to the show. 

“Members appearing on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ are working under the Network Code agreement, which is a non-struck contract,” the union said. “They are required to go to work, are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules, and we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations.”

Walsh’s exit comes as negotiations between screenwriters and Hollywood studios resumed on Wednesday and Thursday. 

“The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow,” the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said in a statement. 

Issues dividing the two sides include pay, the size of the writing staff, and the use of artificial intelligence for scripts.

CBS News and Stations is part of Paramount Global, one of the companies affected by the strikes. Some CBS News staff are WGA and SAG-AFTRA members but work under different contracts than the writers and actors who are on strike.

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