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SAG-AFTRA backs ‘DWTS’ cast amid pressure from WGA: “They are required to go to work”

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Amid pressure from striking writers and picketers gathering outside the Dancing with the Stars rehearsal facilities, SAG-AFTRA is backing the show and its cast members.

“Our members appearing on Dancing with the Stars are working under the Network Code agreement” and “are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules … we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement to ABC Audio.

“The program is a SAG-AFTRA non-dramatic production under a separate agreement that is not subject to the union’s strike order, the statement continues. The majority of our members on Dancing with the Stars had contractual obligations to the show prior to the strike. Many are under option agreements that require them to return to the show if the producer exercises their option which the producer has done.”

The statement goes on to explain that its members are also subject to a ‘No Strike Clause’ in the Network Code Collective Bargaining Agreement, which runs through June 30, 2024. This means the performers have agreed not to strike during the term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“By not showing up to work, our performers can be held in breach of contract and the Union is prohibited from advising them not to work.”

” … We stand with our union siblings across the industry as we also recognize our obligations under federal labor law,” the statement concludes.

On Thursday, September 21, Matt Walsh, one of this year’s celebrity contestants, announced he is pausing his participation in the show in light of the writers strike.

Dancing with the Stars season 32 is still scheduled to premiere Tuesday, September 26, on ABC and Disney+. However, ABC Audio has confirmed the network is making plans to postpone in light of the growing static the celebrities are experiencing.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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