In a statement released via his Twitter account, Tom Bergeron said that he’d suggested to the show’s new executive producer that they avoid casting someone with “ANY party affiliations.”
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who worked for President Donald Trump for much of 2017, is one of this season’s competitors.
Some thoughts about today pic.twitter.com/aCQ4SHrGCI
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) August 21, 2019
Tom Bergeron tweet: “[It] was my hope that ‘DWTS,’ in its return from 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 wrote. “It is the prerogative of 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.”
A representative for ABC, which airs the program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and neither did Sean Spicer.
Spicer subsequently responded to Bergeron’s comments.
“Tom’s been a great host to this show for 28 seasons. This show is a great opportunity to be an example, how we can have better dialogue and respectfully learn from each other,” Sean told The Blast.
“I would hope by the end of the show Tom looks at this as more of an opportunity to help reach the divide that exists right now,” he added.
When asked why he believed Bergeron said what he did, Spicer replied: “I think you got to ask Tom. Right now… you have to look for ways to come together… give people an opportunity to watch some good TV and watch people interact with a diverse background.”
The cast of “Dancing With the Stars” was announced Wednesday morning on “Good Morning America.” In addition to Spicer, those competing are former Bachelorette Hannah Brown; “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown; former NBA player Lamar Odom; actor James Van Der Beek; supermodel Christie Brinkley; country superstar Lauren Alaina; former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke; former NFL star Ray Lewis; actress Kate Flannery; comedian Kel Mitchell; and The Supremes music legend Mary Wilson.
Returning pros include Valentin Chmerkovskiy; Sasha Farber; Alan Bersten; Brandon Armstrong; Gleb Savchenko; Keo Motsepe; Witney Carson; Peta Murgatroyd; Lindsay Arnold; Jenna Johnson; Emma Slater; and Cheryl Burke.
Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov are newcomers to the team.