Dancing with Nobodies

Another year, another season of Dancing with the Stars.  As in recent years, the term “stars” is being used loosely.  I certainly consider James Van Der BeekChristie Brinkley and Mary Wilson stars.  And I suppose one or two of the others are notables in their fields.  But the bulk of the lineup is what I like to refer to as a “bunch of nobodies”.  One name is getting lots of attention – former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.  Political figures are nothing new to DWTS.  But this one has drawn the ire of an unlikely person – host Tom Bergeron.

It is unusual for Bergeron to voice an opinion about a contestant, and unheard of for him to criticize his own network.  But Tom did both.  In a lengthy statement, while acknowledging that he has no say in the show’s casting, he discussed a lunch meeting he had with the executive producer regarding the direction of the show.  He hoped that DWTS “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY political affiliations.  I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement.  Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’”  

While Bergeron didn’t name anyone specifically, it’s clear what he meant by “divisive bookings from ANY political affiliation.”  Spicer took the bait and responded via The Blast: “Tom has been a great host to this show for 28 seasons.  I actually think that this show is a great opportunity to be an example, how we can have better dialogue and respectfully learn from each other.  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.”  I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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