Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has some thoughts on the backlash to his Dancing with the Stars casting, arguing that having contestants like himself on the show will actually help "bring the country together."
Spicer spoke in an interview with Mediaiteafter on Wednesday being announced as one of the cast members of the ABC competition series' latest season, drawing criticism including from host Tom Bergeron. Hours after Spicer's casting was unveiled, Bergeron released a statement slamming the choice and saying he asked the executive producer to avoid "inevitably divisive bookings from any party affiliations" this season.
Spicer now says he hopes that Bergeron changes his mind about this.
"My overall hope is that at the end of this season that Tom looks at this and says, bringing people together of very diverse backgrounds, whether it's in politics or other areas, and allowing them to show America how we can engage in a really respectful and civil way, is actually a way to help bring the country together as opposed to bring it apart," Spicer said.
He also responded to criticism of his hiring from others, such as The New York Times' James Poniewozik, who wrote that booking Spicer would allow him to "tap-dance out of infamy." Spicer said this isn't "what I want" and that he's just going on the show "to enjoy myself and if more people like me, then that's great."
Spicer is the only contestant from the world of politics joining Dancing with the Stars this season, although in the past, some of the eponymous dancing stars have included former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). The new season, likely to be filled with plenty of awkwardness should Bergeron not have a change of heart about Spicer's ability to "bring the country together" with his tap dancing, will kick off on Sept. 16. Brendan Morrow