Karamo Brown is addressing the Dancing With the Stars backlash.
The Queer Eye star was recently named one of the contestants of the next season of Dancing With the Stars, alongside beloved celebs like Hannah Brownand James Van Der Beek. But, like always, there’s going to be that one contestant that causes controversy. And this season, that person is none other than Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary.
Understandably, his presence on the show is creating a bit of conflict, especially for Karamo, who is a champion for the LGBTQ community. To make matters worse, upon learning of fans’ concerns, Brown stated, “First, I have no say who is on the cast and didn’t find out till this morning that he is on! But I’ll tell you this… I’m excited to sit down w/ him and engage in a respectful conversations.”
He explained his reasoning: “Only way things get better is if we try to educate those who have different POV than us.”
And Karamo had the chance to speak to Sean while doing press together. It appears that those conversations led to him to believe that the conservative is a “good guy; a really sweet guy,” according to an Access Hollywood interview.
But his positive take on the man, who previously represented President Donald Trump’s administration, immediately drew ire from some of Queer Eye‘s fans. One person shared on Twitter, “I’m actually disappointed in @Karamo for lending his celebrity to this.”
So with controversy continuing to brew, the star once gain shed some light on his statements. On Twitter, the author explained that his background as a social worker makes him inclined to have a “conversation” with Spicer regardless of his reputation. Moreover, he feels that he needs to “eclipse & triumph over [the] divisiveness & hatred” that Americans experience.
However, this doesn’t mean that Karamo is disregarding the harmful nature of Spicer’s previous actions. He said, “I understand how my comments could lead people to believe that I don’t understand the gravity of the situation. The personal is political. I’m reminded of it daily as a gay man of color. I know that representation matters—that it can affect change. I see you & I hear you.”
And in an effort to remind people that Karamo has no say in casting decisions, Bobby Berk decided to speak out in his defense. “As if being on @DancingABC with the stars wasn’t already one of the must grueling things anyone can put themselves through, celebs now have to deal with the producers & casting planting political land mines to blow you up,” the Fab Five member stated. “I’m very saddened by what my cast mate @Karamo is having to deal with.”
He added, “We’ve been trained over and over to not talk smack about anyone in an interviews and to try to be as nice as possible. When being backed in a corner about voicing his opinions about @seanspicer Karamo’s media training kicked in as we are trained to do. Don’t talk negatively about people in interviews! Always be nice! It’s frankly a really s–tty situation to be put in and @ABCNetwork should be ashamed of themselves for having put the cast in the position of having to take a political side on a f–king dance competition.”
The star concluded, “Everything around us is constantly too political as it is. Shame on you ABC for now making this beloved show political by casting one of the biggest liars who has ever been. It’s called “Dancing with the STARS” and the fact that you’re calling him a star is disgusting.”
Even the show’s host, Tom Bergeron, seems dismayed by the casting decision. “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. I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement,” the longtime host shared on Twitter. “Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.'”
Bergeron later said that he is going to approach the controversial situation by being “Switzerland for those two hours a week.”
When asked to comment on Bergeon’s statements, Andrew Llinares, the new executive producer on Dancing With the Stars, said, “We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season.”