Tom Bergeron got fired from DWTS when he objected to Sean Spicer competing

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In 2019 the ABC/Disney-produced Dancing With The Stars set the limbo bar in hell by casting Sean Spicer in its Season 28 lineup. Please accept my apologies for reminding you of this. Tom Bergeron was host at the time, as he had been since the show began in 2005. Tom was not happy about Spicer joining the cast, and he let us know, unequivocally, how not happy he was. Although Tom was not an executive producer on the show, it was practice for the EPs to discuss upcoming seasons and casts with him. So before Season 28, Tom left a meeting believing they were all in agreement that there should be no political contestants — from either side — to preserve the escapism of the show, especially ahead of the 2020 election. Obviously, the executives made a subsequent misstep. Sitting down with former DWTS pro Cheryl Burke on her Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast, Tom confirmed that he was fired the next season for his objection to Spicer:

“And this former showrunner says to me, ‘You might want to sit down for this last one.’ I said ‘Why?’ And then they told me who it was,” he continued. Alluding to ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer as “the former press guy for [then-President Donald] Trump,” Bergeron recalled that “I said, ‘Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn’t do. Don’t go there. This is, you know, not the right time, play to our strengths, be the show that gives people a break from all this bulls—.”

Attempting to compromise, the television personality suggested he “take the season off” to which the showrunner and the producer offered to “let you out of your contract if you want.”

“That’s how strongly they felt,” Bergeron said, adding that it “really pissed me off.”

Bergeron, now 68, recalled feeling “furious” but tried to be “Switzerland” — that is, before his “temper kicked in,” which he admits he knew “wasn’t going to be pretty.”

He decided to issue a statement in response to Spicer’s casting to “let people know that they f—ing lied to me.”

He recounted, “So I wrote the statement that I wrote, that did not name anybody, that did not name a political party,” he continued. “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.”

When Spicer, now 52, was announced on Good Morning America, Bergeron received countless messages and the public was outraged by the decision.

“So at that moment, I knew this is probably my last season, because of that one betrayal,” he said. “Up until that point, there were people of character there.”

Knowing that his statement would be charged, the former game show host got advice from a lawyer who read it back and claimed it was a “well thought-out perspective” and didn’t “target anybody” but said it would put a “bullseye on your back.”

When Burke, 39, asked if the network execs knew of his intentions to release the statement, he stated that “they didn’t deserve to know.”

“They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them,” he said of his mindset. “But I wanted the viewers to know this was a step too far to me. This was a step too far on the cusp of an election year. And again — had it been a Democrat, same statement.”

[From People]

“When Burke … asked if the network execs knew of his intentions to release the statement, he stated that ‘they didn’t deserve to know.’” Hot damn, I LIKE angry Tom Bergeron! And he was right about everything!! Of course had I been in his position, it would’ve been less about not casting anyone political, and more about not casting lying MAGA Neo-Nazis in particular. But that’s just me. An awful idea has occurred to me, though: the most number of contestants DWTS has ever had in a season is 16. You guys, they could do an entire season with a casting pool of only Trump codefendants in the Georgia RICO case. One-two, cha-cha-charges! I jest, but only to break up the moments of sobbing and despair over the state of our country.

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7 Responses to “Tom Bergeron got fired from DWTS when he objected to Sean Spicer competing”

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  1. Mcali02 says:

    Team Tom!

  2. lucy2 says:

    Good for him. Pretty clear all those execs don’t care, unless it’s going to bring viewers and attention, good or bad.

  3. Sandra says:

    Agree with Tom on this. It’s supposed to be mindless entertainment, a respite from political infighting. I haven’t watched since Tom left. I also thought Tom would have been a great successor to Pat Sajak on Wheel of Fortune. He has the right mix of humor and respect for the contestants. I mean, does Ryan Seacrest have to host everything?

  4. AC says:

    I also haven’t watched since Tom left. Is this show even still popular.

  5. BQM says:

    And Spicer didn’t even last so they caused dissent and lost Bergeron for nothing.

  6. J.Ferber says:

    Team Tom. And he looks hot as hell to me, too.