Spicer served as President Donald Trump’s press secretary for the first six months of his presidency, during which he lied about Trump’s inauguration crowd size and repeated Trump’s false claim that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. He also infamously claimed Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” and upon the release of the Mueller Report, it was revealed that Spicer also lied about who made the decisions to fire Michael Flynn and James Comey.
After leaving the White House, Spicer began trying to ingratiate himself back into popular culture, going on Jimmy Kimmel Live and in September 2017, making a cameo during Stephen Colbert’s Emmy monologue, which was roundly criticized. After the show, Late Late Show host James Corden elicited a mini backlash of his own when he was photographed jokingly kissing Spicer’s cheek.
On Twitter, longtime Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron expressed dismay with the decision to include Spicer in the cast. He claimed that in a conversation with the show’s new executive producer, he suggested DWTS ought to be “a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.” While Bergeron said he thought he and the producer were in agreement, he quipped, “Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’”
Bergeron acknowledged that casting decisions are ultimately up to the producers, saying, “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.” He added, “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 the connection, and a responsibility, which I take very seriously, even if I occasionally season it with dad jokes.”
Some thoughts about today pic.twitter.com/aCQ4SHrGCI
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) August 21, 2019
Interestingly, ABC’s decision to tap the former mouthpiece for the Trump administration for Dancing With the Stars comes amidst reports that its parent company, Disney, has been wringing its hands over the political leanings of its various subsidiaries. In August alone, Variety reported that a Disney executive was worried that Taika Waititi’s World War II satire, Jojo Rabbit, might alienate Disney fans, while ESPN host Dan Le Batard ripped the Disney subsidiary’s “no politics” policy while discussing the racist “send her back” chant a Trump crowd broke into at a recent rally.
Anyway, along with Spicer, the new season of Dancing With the Stars will also feature James Van Der Beek, Christie Brinkley, Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, former NBA star Lamar Odom, country singer Lauren Alaina, ex-Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke, former NFL star Ray Lewis, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and comedian Kel Mitchell. The new season will premiere September 16th on ABC.