Tom Bergeron vowed to ‘screw’ with ‘DWTS’ producers after they ‘really pissed’ him off with cast choice before departure

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Tom Bergeron vowed to ‘screw’ with ‘DWTS’ producers after they ‘really pissed’ him off with cast choice before departure

Tom Bergeron finally shared more details about his shocking and sudden exit from “Dancing With the Stars” in 2020. Dur

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Tom Bergeron finally shared more details about his shocking and sudden exit from “Dancing With the Stars” in 2020.

During an appearance on Cheryl Burke’s “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans” podcast Thursday, Bergeron explained why he was fired from the show after 15 years, saying it all came down to a controversial casting choice.

According to the longtime host, during the summer of 2019, he and serval showrunners got together to discuss potential contestants for the upcoming season.

The season would be airing before a contentious election year, so Bergeron tried to convince the execs to steer away from casting anyone with political affiliations in order to give viewers a “wonderful escape from all the divisiveness for two hours a week.”

The longtime “DWTS” host claimed that showrunners promised to steer clear of political figures when casting the 2019 season.
ABC via Getty Images

He claimed they all agreed to that, but just a few weeks later, Bergeron got a “phone call from the showrunner and another producer,” who ran down the list of “who was going to be on the show” — including ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

“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 … the former press guy for Trump,” he said.

The news came as a complete shock to Bergeron, who slammed the execs for doing the “exact thing” they promised not to.

However, they allegedly went behind his back and cast the former press secretary.
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

“I was furious,” he reflected. “At one point I even said, ‘How about I take this season off?’ And they said, ‘Well if you do that we will let you out of your contract if you want.’ That’s how strongly they felt.”

“And that really pissed me off,” he continued.


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Despite trying to “be Switzerland,” Bergeron said his “temper kicked in” and he decided to “let people know that they f—king lied” to him.

“So at that moment, I knew [that was] probably my last season, because of that one betrayal,” he explained on Cheryl Burke’s podcast.
ABC via Getty Images

In retaliation, Bergeron issued a statement critiquing producers for thrusting politics into viewers’ faces in the midst of an already “exhausting political climate.”

“So I wrote the statement that I wrote, that did not name anybody, that did not name a political party,” he continued. “It merely said, ‘I was told certain things when I was asked my opinion, they agreed, and now they’ve thrown a curveball.’”

While “DWTS” showrunners were not happy about the post, Bergeron said many viewers were equally “outraged” and his phone immediately began “blowing up.”

Bergeron claimed he was fired one year later for speaking out about the controversial casting choice.
Walt Disney Television via Getty

“So at that moment, I knew [that was] probably my last season, because of that one betrayal,” he explained. “Because I had been lied to by people who were in charge … up until that point, there were people of character there.”

Bergeron admitted that he didn’t tell producers before speaking out about the casting process, but insists that “they didn’t deserve to know.”

“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. And again — had it been a Democrat, same statement.”

“They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them,” he said of his mindset at the time.
ABC

Despite still hosting the season alongside Erin Andrews, Bergeron announced in July 2020 that he was “informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me.”

ABC also confirmed at the time that Andrews — who Bergeron says “had his back” during the whole ordeal — would also not be returning.

Just one week later, the show announced that Tyra Banks would be taking over as host.

Yet when asked about Bergeron and Andrews’ departure in October 2020, “DWTS” executive producer Andrew Llinares boiled it down to the fact that the show needed “to continue to evolve.”

Yet the show’s executive producer claimed at the time that he fired Bergeron and Erin Andrews to give the show a “fresh” feel.

“I think changing the host was all about evolution, it was about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new [and] kind of make it reach out — maybe to a new audience as well, as well as the audience that’s been there for years,” he said during ABC’s VirtuFall panel.

Then in March 2022, Bergeron cheekily responded to news that Llinares — who joined the ABC franchise in 2018 — was stepping down.

When asked for his thoughts on Twitter, Bergeron responded, “Karma’s a b–ch,” along with a wink face emoji.

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