“Dancing With the Stars” is returning for a 32nd season, with Julianne Hough being tapped to take over Tyra Banks’ spot as co-host. Hough will join “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribero, who will return as co-host. Hough’s brother, Derek Hough, will return to the judge’s table alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
However, the show faces significant backlash for beginning production amid ongoing strikes by the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).
Cheryl Burke Says ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Should Not Air During Strikes
Instagram | Cheryl Burke
Former professional “Dancing With the Stars” dancer Cheryl Burke spoke out about the show beginning production amid the WAG strikes.
“Well, after the Drew Barrymore thing, I have mixed feelings,” she admitted to Variety, referring to Drew Barrymore’s show facing backlash for initially planning to return without writers; the show later decided to postpone its return until after the strike.
“Even in the pandemic, people can say, ‘Why would you do this?’ This is a sensitive subject when you’re talking about the entertainment industry,” Burke continued. “For things to change, we have to stick together, point blank, because if one show just decides to think about the show on its own, this will not make big changes. It will not change how these other people — the opposing team — are thinking. We must stick together because that’s the only way to make any significant change. Even the cast of “Friends,” when they asked for more money, they all stuck together.”
She added, “The problem is that if we don’t, then we’re setting a precedent, and I don’t think it’s going to be good for the show, to be quite honest, in the long run. I understand what they’re thinking, and I get it. It’s a business, but there is no business without the rest of the business.”
When clarifying if she thinks the ABC reality competition show should hold production, she said, “I think they should hold tight. We need to stand as one. We need to unite for real not just say we’re united.”
Others Speak Out Against ‘DWTS’
Instagram| Dancing With Thes Sars
Former WGA board member David Slack tweeted, “Dancing with the Stars is a WGA-covered show. Its writers are on strike, and they can’t make the show without scab writing,” before proceeding to call out Alfonso Riberio, Julianne Hough, Jason Mraz, and Allison Hannigan.
And WGA member Bill Wolkoff wrote, “I am glad this news is finally coming to light. The DWTS live taping is at CBS TV City. We will have a BIG week on our lot picketing struck WGA shows that have decided to return. This prolongs the strike! Spread the word that #DWTSisWGA.”
He also Tweeted a photo of himself outside the studio’s lot along with the caption, “Day 141. I’ve been here since 6 a.m. watching the studio where Dancing With The Stars is produced. We’ll be ready to picket if they go to air. It’s a WGA show. Hopefully, they’ll take a cue from Drew, JHud, the Talk, and Bill and honor our picket line. #WGAStrong #DWTSisWGA”.