Add Krista Vernoff to the list of ABC employees unhappy with the network for climbing into bed with Sean Spicer. The Grey’s Anatomy/Station 19 showrunner ripped into ABC’s Powers That Be for casting the disgraced ex-White House flack on the new season of Dancing With the Stars.
“I deeply abhor this decision by the company I work for and truly love,” Vernoff lamented in a statement posted on Twitter late Thursday. “This man lied daily, to our faces, and made a mockery of our country. This is not cause for celebration or celebrity.”
Vernoff then called on ABC brass — Disney chairman Robert Iger, specifically — to remove drop Spicer from DWTS Season 28. “It’s not too late to change this plan,” she said, before adding, “Please.”
I deeply abhor this decision by the company I work for and truly love.
This man lied daily, to our faces, and made a mockery of our country. This is not cause for celebration or celebrity.
— Krista Vernoff (@KristaVernoff) August 22, 2019
DWTS host Bergeron also took issue with Spicer’s presence on the show, revealing in a lengthy Twitter post on Wednesday that he had hoped Season 28 “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliation.” Though Bergeron had made that suggestion to a DWTS executive producer, “a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’”
Bergeron continued, “It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise. We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call. I’ll [leave] it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.”
In response to the backlash, DWTS EP Andrew Llinares told TVLine, “We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Spicer said that he hopes the ABC series will be a “politics-free zone,” regardless of his ties to the Trump administration. “My hope is that at the end of the season, [DWTS host] Tom [Bergeron] looks back on this and realizes what a great example it was of being able to bring people of really diverse backgrounds together to have fun with each other,” Spicer said, “engage in a real civil and respectful way, and maybe show millions of Americans how we can get back to that kind of interaction.”