ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars” is about to get a lot spicier. President Trump’s former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is joining the cast of the reality hit for its upcoming season — along with a few other controversial celebrities.
The announcement was made on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday and Spicer certainly made an early impression. The political figure walked out on set to stand behind a podium reminiscent of his White House days, emblazoned with the show’s name and its location,”Times Square.”
While the dance floor may be a long way from D.C., Spicer clearly hasn’t shaken his association with the Trump presidency. Tom Bergeron made a jab at the figure during an interview on GMA after the cast reveal. “The nice thing is Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size,” joked Bergeron, as some of the morning show’s hosts and Spicer’s future cast members laughed.
Bergeron was referring to Spicer’s infamous White House press briefing on Mr. Trump’s inauguration, when he boasted about the audience size. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said in January 2017.
However, aerial side-by-side images comparing former President Obama’s address and President Trump’s appeared to. Spicer has since said he the widely derided comments.
Bergeron later posted a statement Wednesday on Twitter, appearing to refer to his opposition to Spicer’s casting in the show. He explained during a lunch with the reality show’s new executive producer, Bergeron offered “suggestions” for the upcoming season.
“Chief among them was my hope that DWTS…would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations,” Bergeron wrote. He stated he left the lunch “convinced we were in agreement,” but that in the end a decision was made to “go in a different direction.”
While Spicer may have stirred up the most controversy so far, other cast picks are also rubbing some the wrong way.
Another season 28 cast member — former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis — was arrested in 2000 and charged in the stabbing deaths of two men outside an Atlanta. The Football Hall of Famer spent 15 days in jail before pleading guilty to obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to a year probation and received a $250,000 fine from the NFL.
Lamar Odom, former NBA player and Khloe Kardashian’s ex-husband, was also cast in the upcoming season. He has openly battled drug addiction — culminating in a 2015 incident in which he was placed on life support after using a drug cocktail that involved cocaine, reports CBS Sports.
Supermodel Christie Brinkley, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown and former “Bachelorette” Hannah Brown also round out the 2019 cast. The new season of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres September 16.