After taking this spring off, “Dancing with the Stars” returns Monday (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) for its 28th season. As was the case with the previous 27 seasons, I don’t care who wins. I do, however, care who loses.
I’m hoping that former Trump spokesman Sean Spicer is ousted first, and “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown goes second. And, given ABC’s behavior, I’m rooting for ratings so low that the show is canceled.
Spicer is, of course, a documented liar. In the six months he was White House press secretary, he lied about everything from the size of the crowd at Donald Trump’s inauguration to phony allegations of voter fraud; from the firings of the national security adviser and the FBI director to false allegations of wiretapping at Trump Tower.
It went on and on. It was mean, it was petty, it was dangerous. It undermined the country and the free press.
And now ABC is minimizing Spicer’s behavior and trying to rehabilitate his image — even though he never apologized, never recanted and works for a pro-Trump PAC.
I feel sorry for host Tom Begeron (who signaled his own displeasure about Spicer), the other contestants and the professional dancers, who are caught up in this PR nightmare. Reports that ABC News staffers are unhappy are certainly more believable than anything that comes out of Spicer’s mouth.
Why would ABC and the “Dancing” producers sign Spicer and pay him $125,000? Why reward him for being a liar? Because they’re desperate to improve the ratings, which have fallen to all-time lows.
Honestly, this is nothing new for “DWTS.” Disgraced ex-Congressman Tom Delay, former Texas governor/current Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Tucker Carlson have all competed — although Carlson’s appearance came in 2006 when he was still at MSNBC, a decade before he became a Fox News host/white supremacy apologist.
And speaking of apologists, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown deserves the criticism he’s gotten for his own attempt to normalize Spicer’s behavior. Not the online threats, but certainly the criticism.
In an interview with “Access Hollywood,” Brown wasn’t even asked about Spicer. Unprompted, he started talking enthusiastically about how he was “most excited to meet him”; called Spicer a “good guy, really sweet guy”; and said he’s “a big believer that if you can talk to someone and meet in the middle, you can learn about each other and help each other both grow.”
Yes, Brown — who has embraced his role as a spokesman/role model for the gay/African American community — wants to sing kumbaya with an unrepentant liar who continues to promote a decidedly anti-gay, anti-minority administration.
“Get a f-----g grip,” author and essayist Roxane Gay tweeted at Brown. “There is no friendship with people who enable fascism.”
The smart thing would have been for Brown to take a step back, consider the criticism and apologize to those who felt betrayed. Instead, he deleted his Twitter account and deactivated comments on his Instagram account — then returned to Instagram by posting, “People who I thought supported & loved me turned their backs on me... saying I was a traitor, a horrible person, delusional and treating me really bad.”
He played the victim. (And calling him “delusional” isn’t a stretch.)
I’ll have a tough time watching Brown on upcoming episodes of “Queer Eye.” He’s changed my feelings toward the Netflix show, which I’ve loved since it debuted.
My feelings toward “Dancing with the Stars” have changed from disinterest to contempt, however. I understand that it’s all about ratings, but there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed.