Sean Spicer probably did himself no favors with his comment to CNN that he’s “not changing,” and that his casting as a contestant on ABC’s upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars might help “move the country forward in a positive way.”
Critics on Twitter weren’t ready to tango.
“Why doesn’t Sean Spicer understand we don’t like him?,” wrote Saturday Night Live‘s Chris Redd. “We like Melissa McCarthy playing you. You aren’t it, Chief.”
Said culture critic and former MSNBC host Touré, “I wonder if Sean Spicer is like damn, Sanders got a real job, and I’m over here on Dancing With The Has-Beens.”
On NBC News’ Think website, contributor Kurt Bardella writes today that Spicer’s on-the-job White House “falsehoods would graduate from the trivial to matters of great importance and severity.”
“By inviting Spicer to be a part of the new season,” he continues, “ABC and Dancing with the Stars are helping normalize the very behavior that is undermining the pillars of our democracy.”
The media backlash to the Spicer news was at its brashest in a column by The New York Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik, who wrote, in part, “To put him on a silly reality show is to say that he committed a silly offense and that you’re silly if you still make a big deal about it — everybody lies, everybody does what they’ve got to do to get by, everything’s a joke, just stop being such a fussbudget and enjoy the show.
“Letting Sean Spicer tango onto prime time this fall is not the largest disgrace of all time. But it’s still a disgrace. Period.”
Not surprisingly, Spicer found a warmer, downright giddy reception on Fox & Friends, even showing off his moves with co-host Ainsley Earhardt.
As #BoycottDWTS started trending on Twitter shortly after Wednesday’s casting announcement, Spicer, likely attempting some sort of peace-making move, accepted a phone interview with CNN’s media reporter Oliver Darcy last night.
“I think this is an entertainment show,” Spicer told CNN. “I look forward to having some fun. And if people are looking for news, I suggest they tune into a news program.”
Responding specifically to DWTS host Tom Bergeron’s very public disappointment in the casting, Spicer said, “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.”
Other quotes from the CNN interview: “I am very happy with who I am and who I support. I’m not changing. I am giving people another opportunity to see a side of me that is different.” And, “I didn’t look at Twitter. I had my eyes wide open going into this thing. I was like — not going to social media.”
Probably just as well. Here’s a couple:
And Karamo Brown, the Queer Eye star who’ll be competing against Spicer on the ABC dance floor, got plenty of Twitter flack for telling Access Hollywood Wednesday, “Sean Spicer and I have been talking. I was most excited to meet him. The thing is, people would look at us and think we’re polar opposites, but I’m a big believer that if you can talk with someone and meet in the middle, learn about each other and help each other both grow. And so we have been chatting all day today, like he’s a good guy, a really sweet guy.”
Today, Newsweek reported that Brown was “blocking prominent LGBT social media users who are calling him out for his comments.”