Tom Bergeron Says ‘Dancing With The Stars’ “Screwed Me”
Tom Bergeron was the host of the reality dancing competition “Dancing with the Stars” from 2005 to 2020. After 15 years, suddenly, he was no longer with the show. Now, he’s explaining what happened.
Bergeron recently sat down for an interview with professional dancer Cheryl Burke for her podcast “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans.” During the podcast, he shared his perspective about what led to his departure from “Dancing with the Stars.”
It all started back in 2019. Since an election year was approaching, Bergeron felt that America needed a break from political drama, and he thought that “Dancing with the Stars” needed to be a form of escape from politics. He felt so adamantly about this that he talked to the show’s executive producers and urged them not to cast anyone who was in any way affiliated with politics, no matter what political party it was.
Bergeron claims the producers originally agreed to his request, but later, that changed. “A showrunner and another producer” called Bergeron to let him know the list of celebrities cast for the upcoming season. Bergeron explains, “And this former showrunner says to me, ‘You might want to sit down for this last one.’ I said ‘Why?’ And then they told me who it was.”
The producers had decided to cast Sean Spicer, “the former press guy” for then-President Donald Trump. Bergeron responded, “Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn’t do. Don’t go there. This is, you know, not the right time, play to our strengths, be the show that gives people a break from all this bulls—.”
Apparently, Bergeron’s opinion on the matter didn’t matter, and he wasn’t happy about it. Bergeron was so upset by the decision that he suggested he “take the season off.” The producers didn’t miss a beat. They offered to “let you out of your contract if you want.”
Bergeron decided to write a statement regarding his feelings about Spicer’s casting. He explained, “It merely said, ‘I was told certain things when I was asked my opinion, they agreed, and now they’ve thrown a curveball.’ I even went so far as to say it’s their right to do that. They’re the producers of the show, if that’s what they want to do they are entitled to do that. We will have to agree to disagree.”
On the podcast, Bergeron also clarified that he wasn’t upset because the person who was cast was a Republican. He explained that he would’ve issued the same statement if a Democrat had been cast. He didn’t want anyone cast on the show that season that had anything to do with politics.
Bergeron didn’t tell the producers ahead of time before issuing the statement. Instead, he saw it as a form of retaliation. He explained, “They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them.”
In 2021, Bergeron went on the late Bob Saget’s podcast, “Here for You,” and shared that when he issued the statement, he knew it would probably be his last season on “Dancing with the Stars.” That was fine with him. He explained, “In all candor, the show that I left was not the show that I loved.” He added, “I wasn’t surprised that that was my last season.”