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Now, three years after the decision, Bergeron is revealing the real reason why he left the show, explaining that he was "furious" by the casting.
Tom Bergeron On His Shocking 'Dancing With the Stars' Exit
In 2019, Bergeron sat down with the showrunners to discuss potential contestants for the next season of the reality show. He states that everyone was in agreement and that the cast would be a "wonderful escape from that divisiveness" from the 2020 election.
Until Bergeron found out that Donald Trump's former press secretary, Sean Spicer, would be competing for the mirror ball trophy, leaving the host feeling betrayed.
"Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn't do," he told Burke at the time. "And that's exactly how I would have responded if they cast Hillary Clinton, whom I voted for. Don't go there, this is not the right time, play to our strengths. Be the show that gives people a break from all this b------t."
The former "Dancing With the Stars" host said he told the showrunners about his frustrations and how he felt betrayed, however, they responded by suggesting he shouldn't return as host, and that they would let him out of his contract, to which Bergeron said that "really pissed" him off.
"I was furious," the former host said.
People then texted and called Bergeron in regard to Spicer's casting, which left him with no choice but to release a statement.
"So I wrote the statement that I wrote, that did not name anybody, that did not name a political party," he explained in a new interview. "It merely said, 'I was told certain things when I was asked my opinion, they agreed, and now they've thrown a curveball.' I even went so far as to say it's their right to do that. They're the producers of the show, if that's what they want to do they are entitled to do that. We will have to agree to disagree."
Sean Spicer Announces His 'DWTS' Debut
On "Good Morning America", Sean Spicer announced he would be competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy, which Bergeron says was the final straw.
"So at that moment, I knew this was probably my last season, because of that one betrayal," he recalled. "Up until that point, there were people of character there."
Bergeron's lawyer told him that his statement would not be "well-received" by the public, but he did admit the statement was very well written. The former host said he did not care how people felt about his statement and he wanted to make his voice heard because he felt betrayed by the showrunners.
"They had screwed me. I'm gonna screw them," he said. "But I wanted the viewers to know this was a step too far for me. This was a step too far on the cusp of an election year. And again, had it been a Democrat, same statement."