"Dancing with the Stars" may no longer be in step with its scheduled premiere date.
Celebrity contestant Matt Walsh ("Veep"), partnered with pro Koko Iwasaki, says he walked out of a rehearsal Thursday. If other celebrity contestants follow suit and drop out, ABC is likely to postpone its premiere.
"I am taking a pause from 'Dancing with the Stars' until an agreement is made with the WGA," Walsh said in a statement provided to USA TODAY by his rep, Samantha Srinivasan. "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."
"I have been and will always stand with my union members of the WGA, SAG and DGA," Walsh 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."
But "DWTS" is not breaking any WGA or SAG-AFTRA rules by proceeding with its season; the show, like other reality series, operates under a network code agreement that is not affected by the strike.
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In a statement to USA TODAY Thursday, SAG-AFTRA said its members appearing on "DWTS" are "not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules" for going to work as required by their non-struck contracts.
"It is important to recognize that SAG-AFTRA is fighting against the studios and not members who are required to go to work every day under other union contracts or personal service agreements," the statement read. "We stand with our union siblings across the industry as we also recognize our obligations under federal labor law."
Spears previously pledged to donate her "DWTS" salary to the striking unions in a Sept. 12 Instagram post.
"if I’m able to use this unique opportunity to bring more awareness and to donate the salary I get for dancing each week back to the community who has given me so much, then it’s the least I can do," she wrote. "I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared, but I’m just gonna have fun and hopefully be able to give back in a meaningful way until we can ALL GET BACK TO OUR DAY JOBS"
The show is scheduled air on ABC and stream on Disney+ and Hulu, after running exclusively on Disney+ last season. Julianne Hough, who has danced and been a judge on the series, replaces Tyra Banks as Alfonso Ribeiro's cohost.
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Contributing: Edward Segarra, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'DWTS' faces delay as writers' strike inspires actor Matt Walsh exit