‘Dancing With the Stars’ Producers Defend ‘Clickbait’ Casting, Including Controversial Figures Like Adrian Peterson: ‘People Make Mistakes’
11.02.2024 - 00:13
Emily Longeretta The producers of “Dancing With the Stars” are responding to the controversial casting of Sean Spicer (Season 28) and Adrian Peterson (Season 32). “We’re a silly ballroom dance show, we’re teaching people how to cha cha.
The country is divided, so half of the people may have one political view and the other half have the other. At the core of it, we always just go for nice, good people,” executive producer Deena Katz told Variety following the unscripted panel at the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday.
Katz added that the former White House press secretary became friends with many members of the cast during his time on the show. However, there was a great deal of controversy amid his casting, including former host Tom Bergeron expressing disappointment over how the show was being politicized.
“I think everyone needs to, for the two hours you’re watching, just enjoy this. Enjoy someone’s journey and get to know someone,” Katz continued.
“My hope is that someone that maybe didn’t like Sean Spicer because of his political affiliation, you’re watching the show, and he’s just a guy. I think what we try and do is [show] it’s more than that, that you get to know these people and you end up understanding that there are people you really like.” Executive producer Conrad Green added that the show has leaned less into political figures recently, because “people are exhausted by politics,” but they still want to represent people from different cultures: “We’re all Americans, we’ve all got a lot of affinity with each other and trying to show how people can work together, compete against each other in a healthy, positive way.” The last season was under fire again, this time for casting former NFL
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