Michael Arceneaux
August 23, 2019 3:02 pm
Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images for Planet Hollywood International

Author Michael Arceneaux discusses the news that former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will appear on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

It is obvious to all sentient beings that Dancing with the Stars producers were seeking publicity by including former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in its latest cast of contestants. And they’ve gotten it. However, it appears that even the host of Dancing with the Stars recognizes that, while publicity for a television show is typically never a bad idea—there is something to be said for standards.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, host Tom Bergeron issued a statement recalling a meeting between he had with the show’s producers. He said that, in the meeting, he told them that he hoped the new season “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from any party affiliation.” He went on to write, “I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement,” but as we all know now, the show’s producers decided to “go in a different direction.”

Bergeron did not say Spicer’s name directly, but we all know who he was referring to. “We can all agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call,” he added. “I’ll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.”

I love how he drops this bomb at the feet of his bosses and two-steps right on back to his business.

In response, Spicer issued a statement to Us Weekly: “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.”

One of Spicer’s fellow new cast mates, Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, appears to agree. In an interview with Access on Wednesday, Brown said that he was “most excited to meet” Spicer. “People would look at us and think that we’re polar opposites,” Brown explained. “But I’m 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.”

Brown went on to note that, after being in conversation “all day” with him, that the former White House Press Secretary was a “good guy, really sweet guy.”

So, let’s play along and pretend life is like an after-school special.

I don’t have an issue with speaking to someone who differs from you in terms of political ideology, but is everyone worthy of consideration—much less your conversation? Donald Trump is a racist. He is a sexist. He is a xenophobe. He is ableist. He is transphobic. He is homophobic. He is a serially accused sexual assaulter.

The Trump administration is one that has sought to ban people from certain countries from entering the U.S. solely because of their religion. Trump’s is an administration that separates migrant children from their families, locks them up in cages, and has argued before a federal court that those children do not need soap and toothpaste.

Trump is also a habitual liar with an inherent contempt for those in the media who seek to speak truth to power. Actually, a lot of them don’t even speak truth to power and Trump still loathes them. He is a wannabe autocrat who seeks to punish any and all who dare not to offer total fealty.

In Sean Spicer, Trump found a man willing to debase himself for no other reason than a proximity to power. A liar who tap dances for his king, telling the masses that he commands great crowds despite all photographic evidence to the contrary.

There are so many embarrassing moments to consider when assessing Spicer’s pathetic stint auditioning to be Trump’s Joseph Goebbels, but one incident in particular comes to mind: Spicer tried to make Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sound supremely villainous by stupidly saying that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” It was interpreted by many as a denial of the Nazis’ genocide of Jews in extermination camps during World War II. By the way, Spicer referred to those camps as “Holocaust centers.”

“Maybe some folks out there believe people like this are worthy of our time and our conversation, but I do not. I do not want to find the middle road with someone that makes me think of fascism.”

Maybe some folks out there believe people like this are worthy of our time and our conversation, but I do not. I do not want to find the middle road with someone that makes me think of fascism. I do not want to find common ground with a liar and co-conspirator for a white supremacist. And I most certainly do not want to be entertained by them.

I don’t care how polite or nice Sean Spicer can be in person, because his claim to fame is all the people who have suffered as a result of it. To let someone like Spicer appear on Dancing with the Stars is to help whitewash the immorality and cruelty of the Trump administration, and to let its monsters off the hook. I wish we were better than that.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the newly released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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