Bergeron released a statement on Twitter, explaining he expressed his opinion to producers and that the decision to cast Spicer, President Donald Trump's former press secretary, was not in his hands.
Fans of the hit ABC show are also upset with the Spicer's addition and shared their reactions on Twitter.
The cast of season 28 was announced live on Good Morning America on Wednesday and it includes household names like Christie Brinkley, Lamar Odom, The Bachelorette's Hannah Brown, and James van der Beek. One name that stuck out, however, was President Donald Trump's former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. As CNN points out, Spicer was quick to dispute the crowd size at Trump's inauguration, and eventually resigned from his post.
Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron posted a message on Twitter to share his thoughts—without naming him—on Spicer's addition, revealing he had previously voiced his concerns about any polarizing casting decisions.
"A few months ago, during a lunch with DWTS' new Executive Producer. I offered suggestions for Season 28. Chief among them was my hope that DWTS, in its return following 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. I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement," he wrote.
Well, turns out that producers didn't take Bergeron's suggestions and went ahead with what they thought would be best for the show.
"Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, 'go in a different direction.' It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise," he continued. "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."
Bergeron also went on to add what his hopes are as a host for this new season and chapter of Dancing with the Stars.
"For me, as host, I always gaze into the camera's lens and imagine you on the other side, looking for a two hour escape from whatever life hassles you've been wrestling with. That's a connection, and a responsibility, which I take very seriously, even if I occasionally season it with dad jokes," he wrote. "Hopefully, when Erin Andrews and I look into those lenses again on September 16, you'll be on the other side looking back, able to enjoy the charismatic pro dancers, the unpredictable judges and the kitschy charm that has defined DWTS since 2005."
"My preference—it's not my call, other people book the show—would have been to avoid any political lightning rods," he said. "I think Dancing at its best is an oasis away from all the divisiveness and all the stuff that we are wrestling with right now. And so that was a call they made, and my job as host, to the best of my ability, is to be Switzerland for those two hours as well. For the other 166 hours a week, it’s pretty clear where I stand politically."
Quickly, fans chimed in expressing their disapproval of Bergeron's decision to stay on the show.
"Normalizing people associated with this administration is complicity. We are living in a different climate that requires courageous action. Not business as usual," @emzorbit tweeted.
Normalizing people associated with this administration is complicity. We are living in a different climate that requires courageous action. Not business as usual.
— Emily A. (@emzorbit) August 21, 2019
"We agree to disagree about normalizing a spokesman for fascism," @JJ_J0NE5 wrote.
We agree to disagree about normalizing a spokesman for fascism
— J.J. (@JJ_J0NE5) August 21, 2019
Another user wrote, "I will not be watching this season- DWTS has now normalized lying, indecency and the disgusting behaviors that Sean Spicer brought to the American people during his time in the WH- HE IS NOT STAR- you have lost my viewership forever."
I will not be watching this season- DWTS has now normalized lying, indecency and the disgusting behaviors that Sean Spicer brought to the American people during his time in the WH- HE IS NO STAR- you have lost my viewership forever
— AMERICA- YOU IN DANGER GIRL! (@jrr_reynolds) August 21, 2019
This isn't the first time the Dancing with the Stars cast has provoked the ire of viewers. In season 11, Sarah Palin's daughter came in third place. Duck Dynasty star Sarah Robertson was the first runner-up in season 19. And in season 9, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay—the man who helped promote the conspiracy theory that President Obama wasn't born in the U.S.—was cast, but left shortly after the premiere following doctor's orders. All of those casting decisions faced some degree of backlash.
Neither ABC or Sean Spicer have commented on the public or Bergeron's reaction surrounding the new season.
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