Former Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron is getting candid about his exit from the reality competition series in 2020. In a new interview on Cheryl Burke’s Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast (yep... the same one where Brooke Burke made *those* “love affair” comments about her pro partner, Derek Hough), Tom dished that he was “screwed” by producers ahead of his departure.
Tom—who had been hosting the series since 2005—revealed that in 2019, he had lunches with executives to talk about the show’s upcoming seasons. With a presidential election on the horizon in 2020, he suggested that producers should hold back from casting any politicians on the show so that viewers could have a “wonderful escape” from the state of the country. He said that although they initially agreed, he remembered getting a “phone call from the showrunner and another producer” to go over a list of potential celebrities to cast in future seasons.
“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,” Tom explained to Cheryl before dishing that producers wanted to cast “the former press guy for Trump,” Sean Spicer. “I said, ‘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 bullshit.”
Tom said that although he felt “furious,” he tried to remain neutral before his “temper kicked in” and he issued a statement to “let people know that they fucking lied to me.”
“So I wrote the statement that I wrote, that did not name anybody, that did not name a political party,” he told Cheryl. “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.”
“So at that moment, I knew this is probably my last season, because of that one betrayal,” he added. “Up until that point, there were people of character there.”
When it came to his mindset at the time, Tom said he thought, “They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them.”
“But I wanted the viewers to know this was a step too far to me. This was a step too far on the cusp of an election year,” he continued. “And again—had it been a Democrat, same statement.”
ICYMI, listen to Tom’s full interview on Cheryl Burke’s Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast below:
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