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Movie and TV star Zach Braff predicted that Sean Spicer would wind up on Dancing With the Stars back in 2017—and he feels bad about it.
“Meant to be a joke because in my mind ABC would never normalize such an incredibly horrible person,” he tweeted Thursday, linking back to his previous tweet from July 2017, the month the former Trump employee left the White House, that read: “Can’t wait to see Sean Spicer waltz on Dancing With the Stars.”
July 21, 2017.— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) August 22, 2019
Meant to be a joke because in my mind ABC would never normalize such an incredibly horrible person. https://t.co/3WgBD0G3x6
There have been numerous attempts at rehabilitating former Trump administration officials, but none have galled the public as much as the announcement that Spicer will appear on Dancing With the Stars. After it was announced on Wednesday that former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer will be a contestant on the hit ABC reality show, social media erupted in dismay.
Those who defended the move to hire Spicer weren’t safe from the internet’s wrath. Karamo Brown, Queer Eye cast member and fellow contestant the upcoming season of DWTS, said in an interview with Access that he was “most excited to meet” Spicer out of the entire cast.
Get a fucking grip. There is no friendship with people who enable fascism.— roxane gay (@rgay) August 22, 2019
Following the outpouring of anger toward Brown, the Queer Eye star got defensive in since-deleted tweets and blocked those who criticized him.
Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron issued a statement on Twitter distancing himself from the move to include Spicer.
Some thoughts about today pic.twitter.com/aCQ4SHrGCI— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) August 21, 2019
Bergeron claims he contacted producers and suggested: “a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitable divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.” Obviously, his suggestion was ignored.
DWTS executive producer Andrew Llinares appeared to defend the move when he told BuzzFeed News, “We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season.”
This is not the first attempt Spicer has made to break into show business. Variety reported that he was in talks to shoot a pilot for a televised talk show in 2018. He has also served as a correspondent for Extra and appeared at the 2017 Emmy awards.
Multiple sources told Variety that Spicer will likely make over $200,000 for his appearance on DWTS, more than he earned as press secretary. Spicer has been defensive of his casting despite the outpouring of criticism. He said, per Variety: “I think Tom has been a great host. And I firmly believe when the season is over he’s probably going to realize bringing a diverse group of people together, who can interact in a fun, civil and respectful way, is actually a way we can move the country forward in a positive way. And it will make this show an example of how Americans can disagree about politics and tune into good entertainment shows and keep their politics at bay.”
Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.