Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff is adding her voice to the choir shaming ABC for casting former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Dancing With the Stars Season 28. The head writer, who recently took over reins of Grey's spinoff series Station 19, took to Twitter Thursday to call the network out for the choice to have the politician on the show.
"I deeply abhor this decision by the company I work for and truly love," Vernoff wrote in a statement posted on social media, quote tweeting one of Spicer's tweets. "This man lied daily, to our faces, and made a mockery of our country. This is not cause for celebration or celebrity."
"It's not too late to change this plan. Please," she ended her post, tagging ABC and Disney chairman Robert Iger.
Vernoff's comments come as many fans and celebrities have spoken out against the controversial casting. DWTS co-host Tom Bergeron voiced his issue with the casting choice writing he had hoped the upcoming season would be "a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations."
"I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement," he wrote. However, "a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, 'go in a different direction.'"
"It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise. We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it's their call. I'll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.
"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 I occasionally season it with dad jokes," he continued. "Hopefully, when [co-host] Erin Andrews and I look into those lenses again on September 16, you'll be on the other side looking back, able to enjoy the charismatic pro dancers, the unpredictable judges and the kitschy charm that has denied DWTS since 2005."
DWTS executive producer Andrew Llinares responded to the backlash, telling TVLine: "We've got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season."
Spicer responded directly to Bergeron in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying he hopes the ABC series will be a "politics-free zone."
"My hope is that at the end of the season, Tom [Bergeron] looks back on this and realizes what a great example it was of being able to bring people of really diverse backgrounds together to have fun with each other, engage in a real civil and respectful way, and maybe show millions of Americans how we can get back to that kind of interaction," he said.