As if the America's Got Talent fiasco wasn't enough for people, there's another talent show in hot water, but this time it's not an NBC show, but ABC's Dancing With the Stars. The controversy has stemmed from the casting of Sean Spicer, the former White House Press Secretary and Communications Director for President Donald Trump, who himself, dealt with the controversies surrounding the executive office during his tenure on the staff.
In speaking with Variety, ABC Entertainment's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Rob Mills, shared his thoughts on casting Spicer, as well as, how the network dealt with the negative feedback.
Decision to Cast Spicer and Others
Rob Mills was asked about the decision to cast Spicer and other potential members, sharing that the show looks for all types of candidates, as long as they can provide entertainment for the viewers, alluding to possible political cast in the future.
Essentially, there's no discrimination of anyone from any sector. He said, "I think you never say never to anything."
He continued, "We would never say never to someone in politics. We would look at anything, potentially, if it were good for the show." Although the producers were confident in their cast selection, he did acknowledge the backlash Spicer's presence caused.
Responding to Negative Feedback
Mills shared that the producers are very conscientious of who they chose to be on the show, but that it wasn't and never is the intention to offend viewers or cause any uproar. "You don't want to upset people and turn them off," he said.
When the decision was made to bring on Spicer, ABC didn't anticipate the negative feedback that they received, citing that he was personally shocked. But Mills tried to bring people back down to Earth stating that Dancing With the Stars is simply a dancing competition.
"At the end of the day, we’re talking about a ballroom dancing competition — we weren’t asking Sean Spicer to lead a debate or do anything political — but you have to look at the reaction and we saw what people said,” he shared. “I was frankly stunned that people still cared that much about Sean Spicer. I mean, gosh, he had been out of the public eye for about a year. But clearly I was wrong."
Talking with Charlie Sheen about Joining DWTS
Along with speaking about the Spicer controversy, Mills also delved into some of the other possible candidates they're pursuing for future seasons. One name that he specifically shared was Charlie Sheen.
Mills revealed that Sheen has even already met with the producers and is interested in starring on the show. If it does happen, it would be a successful second attempt. Previously, Sheen rejected the offer to be on the show, but it seems as of right now, it's a good possibility. Mills shared, "I don’t think it’s a huge secret because he came out and talked about it, but I would still love Charlie Sheen to come on."
Other Possible Additions
Other than Charlie Sheen, Mills name-dropped some other A-listers that they'd be interested in having on the show. Mills shared that the producers want to try and get former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, Ryan Shazier, who was nearly paralyzed in a game back in 2017 after a devastating hit.
Mills explained that it would just be a feel-good story and epitomized what the show was all about. "Two years ago, he was hit on a Monday Night Football game and doctors feared he was paralyzed, and he has learned to walk again. Those are those great stories that are really what Dancing With the Stars is all about — here's somebody who has overcome something, and when you do that, you dance," he explained.
Some other people he named? Christie Brinkley and other cast members from Queer Eye. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait till the beginning of next season to find out.