Dancing with the Stars row over Sean Spicer casting


White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks to the media during his daily briefing in the White House Press Briefing Room in Washington, DC, USA, 11 April 2017Image copyright

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The decision to cast the president’s former press secretary has been controversial

The host of Dancing with the Stars has voiced his opposition to the casting of Donald Trump’s former press secretary, Sean Spicer, for the upcoming series.

Tom Bergeron said he had wanted the television show to be a welcome relief from politics for its viewers.

In a tweet, he said he thought the producers had agreed with him, but acknowledged they clearly had not.

Mr Spicer drew controversy while serving as Mr Trump’s first press secretary, for some six months in 2017.

His reaction to the announcement was quite different to Mr Bergeron’s. “It’s time to have some fun. Excited to join a great cast and show,” he tweeted.

In his tweet, Mr Bergeron said he had hoped this show would “be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.”

He had left a meeting with his producers “convinced we were in agreement”.

“Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction,'” he added.

“We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call.”

Mr Spicer served as press secretary for little over half a year in 2017.

During that time he made some notable false and misleading statements, including when he stated that Mr Trump’s inauguration was bigger than that of his predecessor Barack Obama, despite photos clearly showing otherwise.

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” he said.

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Media captionThey were the largest crowds. Period.

Mr Spicer has since said he regrets making the claim and made a cameo at the Emmys mocking the incident.

He has also written a book called The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President in which he referred to Trump as “unicorn riding a unicorn across a rainbow”.

Other stars joining the next series of the show include actor James Van Der Beek, cast member of Netflix’s Queer Eye Karamo Brown and former NFL player Ray Lewis.

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