After a horrible season last year, complete with a controversial winner and sagging ratings, Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron expressed disappointment today when former Donald Trump spokesman Sean Spicer, a controversial and divisive figure, was announced for the upcoming season.
Bergeron took to social media today to post a lengthy statement explaining his feelings about which “celebrities” will be featured on Season 28 of the hit reality competition series, in particular referring to how Spicer is a contestant.
Bergeron wrote how he hoped the new season “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.”
He described how he met with “DWTS” new executive producer (Andrew Llinares) to make his feelings known and he left their lunch “convinced we were in agreement.”
“Subsequently (and rather obviously),” Bergeron wrote, “a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’”
Some thoughts about today pic.twitter.com/aCQ4SHrGCI
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) August 21, 2019
“We can all agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call,” he continued. “I’ll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.”
Bergeron made a pledge to the show’s fans: “For me, as host, I always gaze into the camera’s lens and imagine you on the other side, looking for a two-hour escape from whatever life hassles you’ve been wrestling with. That’s a connection and a responsibility which I take very seriously, even if I occasionally season it with dad jokes.”
When the cast was announced this morning on “Good Morning America,” and Bergeron poked fun at Spicer.
“The nice thing is, Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size,” Bergeron joked, making innuendo about the controversy over the crowd size at Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
Spicer is not a famous person who happened to do something dishonest.
He is a person who is famous — singularly, even in an era of “alternative facts” — for spreading disinformation, about the inauguration, about Trump’s claims that he was wiretapped by the previous administration, about Michael Flynn’s resignation.
At least publicly, dishonesty is Spicer’s brand.
ABC is hoping to use that for publicity reasons, and many fans are expressing outrage on social media about it.
It’s an interesting decision considering many viewers considered last season, by far, the worst of all.
So bad, in fact, that ABC skipped a springtime version this year.
This season also features:
- Christie Brinkley,
- “The Bachelorette” Hannah Brown,
- “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown,
- Country singer Lauren Alaina,
- “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek,
- NFL legend Ray Lewis,
- Former Fifth Harmony singer Ally Brooke,
- NBA star and Khloe Kardashian ex-husband Lamar Odom,
- “Kenan and Kel” star Kel Mitchell,
- Former Supremes singer Mary Wilson,
- “The Office” star Kate Flannery.
Also set to return to the cast is Australian Latin dancer Peta Murgatroyd, which ABC preemptively announced Tuesday morning.
The other professional dancers in the cast this season are:
- Alan Bersten,
- Brandon Armstrong,
- Cheryl Burke,
- Emma Slater,
- Gleb Savchenko,
- Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy,
- Keo Motsepe,
- Lindsay Arnold,
- Sasha Farber,
- Val Chmerkovskiy.
- Witney Carson,
- As well as newbies Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov.
Celebrity-dancer pairings will be announced during the season premiere.