Dancing with the Stars' Karamo Brown Reacts to Fan Fury Over Show Casting Sean Spicer
The casting of Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump‘s former press secretary, has prompted backlash from many fans
Shortly after the new cast for season 28 was announced on Wednesday, fans expressed their anger on social media about ABC’s choice to bring Spicer, 47, onto the dancing competition series.
But that wasn’t all fans were unhappy about. They also criticized Brown for not outwardly disapproving of the casting after he said he was excited to meet President Donald Trump‘s former press secretary and have “respectful conversations” with him.
Brown, 38, first responded to one Twitter user who said they were “disappointed” in the Queer Eye star for “lending his celebrity to this.”
In response, Brown said, “First, I have no say who is on the cast and didn’t find out till this morning that he is on! But I’ll tell you this… I’m excited to sit down w/ him and engage in respectful conversations.”
“Only way things get better is if we try to educate those who have different POV than us,” he added in the tweet.
Later in the day, another user slammed Brown for calling Spicer “a good guy” and “a really sweet guy” in an interview with Access Hollywood — to which The Real World alum quickly shut down his comments.
“I honestly can’t stand people like you who post things like this and you reposted some bs about a comment Jonathan [Van Ness] said… just to flame the fire and get a reaction,” he said, referencing a comment his Queer Eye costar previously made about Mitt Romney.
“We fight harder than your ass ever has for people of color and members of the LGBTQIA community,” Brown added.
Brown’s supportive sentiments, however, were met with mixed opinions from his followers.
Some applauded him for “always seeing the best in people, being positive, and trying to make the world the best place it can be.”
“Karamo, I feel like you really SEE people. If you see that in him, I believe that you really feel that way, regardless of the differences you have,” wrote one person.
Others, meanwhile, slammed him and claimed he was “making friends with white supremacists” and “a man who told blatant LIES to the American citizens on the daily.”
“Karamo he lied for Trump for 6 months!! Wtf??? Defending him over people rightfully calling ABC out… anything for a profit? Stop normalizing this presidency,” wrote one user.
Brown isn’t the only one who has recently responded to the backlash over Spicer’s casting.
Bergeron, 64, posted a lengthy message on Twitter, revealing that he met with the DWTS executive producer several months ago and tried to steer the show away from politics.
“Chief among them was my hope that DWTS, in its return following an unprecedented year-hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably decisive booking from ANY political affiliations,” Bergeron wrote, adding that he “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,'” the TV host added.
Added Bergeron, “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. 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 wrote, before adding a positive spin to his post.
“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,” he continued, joking that he’s always ready to supply “dad jokes.”
“Hopefully, when [co-host] 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 denied DWTS since 2005,” he concluded the post.
Bergeron echoed his feelings on Spice while speaking to Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly Live on Wednesday. Calling him a “political lightning rod,” Bergeron explained his “preference” was for Spicer to not have been cast.
“Dancing, at its best, is an oasis, away from all the divisiveness and all the stuff we are wrestling with right now,” the host said. “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 a week.
“For the other 166 hours a week, I am pretty clear where I stand politically,” Bergeron added.
Spicer and Brown will be joining The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, The Bachelorette‘s Hannah Brown, supermodel Christie Brinkley, country star Lauren Alaina, actor James Van Der Beek, NFL legend Ray Lewis, The Office star Kate Flannery, pop star Ally Brooke, former basketball player Lamar Odom and comedian/actor Kel Mitchell out on the ballroom this season.
The cast was announced during Wednesday’s episode of Good Morning America, and already, Bergeron couldn’t help but poke fun at his new costar.
“The nice thing is Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size,” Bergeron joked to Spicer on the morning show. (Spicer famously came under fire for lying about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration, claiming, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”)
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Although he admitted to being dancing-impaired, Spicer said on GMA that he plans to “work really, really, really hard every day,” in order to stay in the competition.
This season, the pro dance partner pairings won’t be unveiled until the premiere.
Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 16 on ABC.