Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will compete alongside Christie Brinkley, James Van Der Beek and other notables on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
But the show’s host, Tom Bergeron, isn’t on board with the casting decision.
After Spicer and his Season 28 castmates – the usual mix of athletes, singers, actors and reality stars – were announced Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Bergeron tweeted an informal statement that did not mention Spicer by name, but clearly addressed his addition to the cast. Bergeron said he met with the show’s new executive producer a few months ago, and thought they agreed the reality competition’s upcoming season should “be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.”
“Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction,’” the veteran host added. “We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call.”
Bergeron isn’t alone in his sentiments about the former aide. Exhibit A: the many harsh replies to Spicer’s tweet celebrating the announcement, including some saying ABC was “normalizing” him and that he had already “danced around so many questions while he worked in the White House.”
Spicer was rumored to be in talks with the show after leaving the White House two years ago, rankling many who have criticized him for frequent dishonesty in press briefings. That made for an awkward moment on “GMA” when Bergeron cracked: “The nice thing is that Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size.”
Spicer began his White House tenure with the infamous (and provably false) claim that President Donald Trump’s inauguration drew the largest crowd ever. He later said he “absolutely” regretted the claim – an admission that followed his controversial appearance at the 2017 Emmy Awards. He explored his White House role in detail in his 2018 book “The Briefing,” which was widely panned by critics. Spicer’s other foray into the entertainment world unfolded during his White House run when he was portrayed several times on “Saturday Night Live” by Melissa McCarthy – whose work got far better reviews.
Radio host Bobby Bones and his dancing partner Sharna Burgess won the most recent season of “DWTS.” The long-running series skipped its typical spring season this year, so it will end a year-long hiatus when the show returns Sept. 16.
This season’s other cast members include: “Queer Eye” co-host Karamo Brown; Fifth Harmony alum Ally Brooke; country singer Lauren Alaina; Kel Mitchell (of “Kenan & Kel” and “All That” fame); Mary Wilson, a founding member of the Supremes; former NBA star Lamar Odom; “The Office’s” Kate Flannery; former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year; and the network’s most recent “Bachelorette,” Hannah Brown.