Karamo's Reaction To Sean Spicer's 'DWTS' Casting Looks For Common Ground Amid The Backlash
Sean Spicer will be on Dancing With the Stars for the show's 28th season, as announced on Wednesday, Aug. 21, but not many people are happy about it. Critics have been taking to social media to air their thoughts on the divisive casting (hint: they aren't kind), including some of the DWTS crew. Longtime host Tom Bergeron and newly announced contestant Karamo Brown spoke out about Sean Spicer's DWTS casting, and they have some interesting thoughts on the former White House Press Secretary, who blatantly lied to the public several times while serving under Donald Trump's administration.
Karamo commented on Twitter, when he responded to a fan who said they were "disappointed" in the Queer Eye star. Although it's likely not an ideal scenario for the member of the Fab Five, Karamo had a more optimistic outlook on the situation. "I have no say who is on the cast and didn’t find out till this morning that he is on," he wrote, making it clear that he didn't really have a say on whether or not he'd share the stage with the former White House Press Secretary. That said, he also noted that he wants to take advantage of Spicer's casting to create positive change. "I’m excited to sit down w/ him and engage in respectful conversations. Only way things get better is if we try to educate those who have different POV than us."
Meanwhile, other members of the DWTS family were not as pleased. Longtime host Bergeron responded to the Spicer backlash on Twitter, making it clear that he wasn't necessarily a huge fan of this particular "star." He explained that he had a meeting with the show's new executive producer, where he expressed a hope that "DWTS, in its return following an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations." He continued, "Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.'"
While he didn't necessarily approve of the choice, Bergeron added that the producers and ABC are ultimately in charge of casting decisions and deferred to them for future questions, before affirming that he will be happily returning to his post as host alongside Erin Andrews despite the circumstances. Bustle reached out to representatives of DWTS, and received a comment from executive producer Andrew Llinares, who said, "We've got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the saeson."
“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," he said. "That’s the connection, and a responsibility, which I take very seriously, even if I occasionally season it with dad jokes.”
Bergeron also spoke about Spicer on SiriusXM, where host Dalton Ross asked whether he thought Spicer's political affiliations would affect America's voting patterns. "I honestly have no idea," he said, before clarifying his opinion about Spicer's casting once again. "My preference... would have been to avoid any political lightning rods. I think Dancing at its best is an oasis away from all the divisiveness and all of the stuff that we're all wrestling with right now," he said. "And you know, my job as host, to the best of my ability, is to be Switzerland for those two hours a week. For the other 166 hours a week, I'm pretty clear where I stand politically."
Despite the controversy of casting Spicer in a post-Trump era, this isn't the first time that DWTS has gone political. Conservative pundit Tucker Carlson was a contestant during the show's third season, and Bristol Palin, daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, has competed on the show twice. Even former Governor of Texas Rick Perry competed on the show before getting appointed as the U.S. Secretary of Energy by Trump. Luckily, he was voted out in the first couple weeks.
DWTS is definitely making a splash upon its return with Spicer's casting, but whether it's worth the backlash and moral implications that come with normalizing his actions remains to be seen.
Editor's Note: this piece has been updated with a comment from DWTS executive producer Andrew Llinares.