Tom Bergeron is not on board with ABC's decision to invite former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer onto season 28 of Dancing With the Stars. Bergeron, the reality dance competition's host since 2005, took to Twitter on Wednesday to release a longwinded note about his reaction to Spicer's involvement, although he did not list Spicer by name.
Some thoughts about today pic.twitter.com/aCQ4SHrGCI— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) August 21, 2019
In his note, Bergeron wrote that upon meeting with the show's new executive producer before planning for the season began, he was under the impression that Season 28 of DWTS 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.'"
Bergeron made it clear that he was not supportive of the decision made by the network and producers to hire Spicer. "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."
Bergeron's pointed message comes after he took a jab at Spicer during the Season 28 cast announcement on Good Morning America on Wednesday. After introducing the celebrities, Bergeron said that "The nice thing is Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size." The joke was a reference to Spicer's insistence that President Donald Trump's inauguration crowd was the largest ever, despite all proof to the contrary.
Predictably, backlash ensued after Spicer was revealed to be a competitor on the show, with many DWTS fans writing on Twitter that it was "gross" and "shameless" for ABC to bring Spicer onto a lighthearted show given his political career. He resigned as Trump's press secretary in June 2017, released a book, The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President, in July 2018. In July 2019, Trump announced his intention to nominate Spicer to be a Member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy as part of his administration.
In addition to Spicer, the other 11 celebrates set to compete on the show are The Bachelorette Hannah Brown, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown, actor James Van Der Beek, actor Kate Flannery, former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke, country music singer Lauren Alaina, former NBA player Lamar Odom, former NFL player Ray Lewis, model Christie Brinkley and The Supremes music legend Mary Wilson.
Photo credit: Dave Kotinsky / Stringer / Getty