Tom Bergeron Says Sean Spicer Casting Was the ‘Betrayal’ That Sparked His ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Exit: ‘Pissed Me Off’

“What was happening was, we were suddenly becoming this show at its worst,” the fan favorite tells Cheryl Burke

Tom Bergeron and Sean Spicer
Side by side of Tom Bergeron and Sean Spicer (Photo Credit: Getty Collection)

Tom Bergeron, the former host of “Dancing with the Stars,” has spilled on “the one betrayal” that led to him being fired from the show he hosted for 15 years.

Bergeron said on Cheryl Burke’s “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans” podcast that he met with the series showrunner and a producer about the direction of the 2019 season, and was adamant that the show should stay apolitical ahead of a heated election year.

“Don’t go there,” Bergeron recalled saying to the agreement of both. “Just make us the wonderful escape from all that divisiveness for two hours a week.”

A few weeks later, Bergeron was given the lineup for Season 28 of “Dancing with the Stars” – which included former White House Press Secretary for Donald Trump Sean Spicer.

“I said, ‘Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn’t do. And I would have responded the same way if they had booked Hillary Clinton, whom I voted for,” Bergeron said. “Don’t go there. This is not right time. Play to our strengths. Be the show that gives people a break from all this bulls–t.”

Bergeron said he was “furious” at the casting choice and felt like he had been “lied to by people who were in charge.” Given his opposition, he offered to take the season off. In exchange the producers offered to let him out of his hosting contract altogether. “That’s how strongly they felt,” he said.

The former host also opened up about his decision to publicly condemn the casting choice, saying that he was “at least going to let people know that they f–king lied to me” and that “up until that point there were people of character there.” He intentionally did not let ABC know his statement was coming.

“They had screwed me, I’m going to screw them,” Bergeron said on the podcast.

Despite his moral opposition to Spicer’s casting, Bergeron emphasized that he was polite to Spicer during his time on the show. He wished Spicer a happy birthday and noted that he wasn’t the one that put the former press secretary in the highly criticized green blouse. He also emphasized that he would have been just as outraged if former President Barack Obama had been cast on the show.

“It wasn’t about my political beliefs. It was about my feeling about the show,” Bergeron said. “What is this show at this best? And what was happening was we were suddenly becoming this show at its worst.”

Later, Bergeron’s sense that his time was coming to an end proved to be true. The host was fired from “Dancing with the Stars” after 15 years and 443 episodes as its host.


5 responses to “Tom Bergeron Says Sean Spicer Casting Was the ‘Betrayal’ That Sparked His ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Exit: ‘Pissed Me Off’”

  1. LinSis Avatar

    I loved Tom and felt the changes they made were not the best.  I agree that we watched the show to not have to deal with the political climate and I am Republican.   I literally stopped watching when Tom was let go.  It made no sense to me and then to eventually end up with Tyra Banks….seriously did the producers not watch any of her shows and her arrogance….How did that work out for you?!!

  2. American girl Avatar
    American girl

    Tom is a cry baby. He thought by being an arrogant pos and ignoring 88million people who voted for Trump that somehow those folks didn’t matter. However, clearly Spicer was the adult in the room and Tom, thankfully was fired. Problem solved. 

    1. Lynnea Cole Avatar
      Lynnea Cole

      You obviously completely missed his point.  It had NOTHING to do with who voted for Trump.  

  3. Tanya Silverthorne Avatar
    Tanya Silverthorne

    I agree wholeheartedly with Tom. I haven’t watched Dancing with the Stars since!

  4. mary blanton Avatar
    mary blanton

    @americangirl he said it wasn’t about who it was. Politics doesn’t need to be part of everything. Back then it was everywhere and people just wanted a brag from it. By the way in Republican. 

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