Tom Bergeron Says He and ABC ‘Agree to Disagree’ on Sean Spicer’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Casting

Host argues reality competition should be “free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations”

Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"

Tom Bergeron criticized “Dancing With the Stars” for the inclusion of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the upcoming season, arguing the show should be a “joyful respite” from the “exhausting political climate.”

“A few months ago, during a lunch with ‘DWTS’ new Executive Producer, 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,” Bergeron wrote in a note posted on his Twitter account Wednesday. “I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement.”

Bergeron continued: “Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’ It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise. We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call. I’ll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.”

“We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season,” Andrew Llinares, executive producer of DWTS said in a statement provided to TheWrap.

ABC did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Bergeron’s statement.

Spicer served as the first White House press secretary for president Donald Trump, and was often accused of making false or misleading statements on behalf of the president. He resigned in July 2017 after only 6 months on the job.

The cast for Season 28 of “Dancing With the Stars” was announced Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” Spicer joins supermodel Christie Brinkley, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown, “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek, “The Office” alum Kate Flannery and “Bachelorette” Hannah Brown.

“Dancing With the Stars” Season 28 is set to debut on Monday, Sept. 16 on ABC at 8/7c. Bergeron and Erin Andrews are set to return as hosts, along with judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

You can read Bergeron’s full statement below: