Sean Spicer is speaking out about his role in the upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
In statements to The Hollywood Reporter and Mediaite, the former Trump aide responded to backlash of his casting, telling THR that he hopes the show is a “politics-free zone.”
”My hope is that at the end of the season, (host) Tom (Bergeron) looks back on this and realizes what a great example it was of being able to bring people of really diverse backgrounds together to have fun with each other, engage in a real civil and respectful way, and maybe show millions of Americans how we can get back to that kind of interaction,” his statement continued.
In his statement to Mediaite, Spicer said, “this is an opportunity to have some fun.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Spicer’s rep for comment.
Bergeron told fans he opposed the Spicer casting decision in a statement to Twitter Wednesday.
“A few months ago, during a lunch with ‘DWTS’ new Executive Producer (Andrew Llinares), 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,” he wrote.
“I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement,” he continued. “Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’”
Spicer, 47, who reportedly turned down a “DWTS” offer shortly after leaving the White House in 2017, after a brief stint as President Trump’s press secretary and communications director, is a lightning rod for criticism – and attention – among those who object to how he handled his role.
Spicer also told THR that he and the other contestants met Tuesday, prior to the cast announcement.
“I was really impressed with the caliber of people but, on a personal level, they were just really nice, good people, to a person,” he said. “From a cast standpoint, and the pros, we all seemed to hit it off. The criticism wasn’t coming from the cast or the pros – obviously Tom had his opinion – but it’s from the outside.”
Read more at usatoday.com.