Film & TV

Stop Getting Mad about Dancing with the Stars

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in New York City, April 25, 2018. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
This is not an outrage but a smart business decision.

ABC has announced that former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will appear as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars — and a lot of people are really, really mad. 

The anger over the casting decision was obvious on Twitter:

A piece on NBC’s website called it “an embarrassment to ABC and a slap in the face to journalists.” A piece in The Independent stated that Spicer “should be on a permanent public blacklist, not in a televised waltz.” A piece in Variety declared that “Spicer’s previous life as a professional liar should really disqualify him from public life, period.”

Since so many people have decided to give their passionate, outraged opinion on this casting, I figured I’d might as well give mine:

Who gives a sh**?

I mean, seriously. Who, and how? Don’t these people have absolutely anything else to worry about in their lives? Don’t they have jobs, or friends, or people who aren’t texting them back to worry about? All of these things are more consequential than who does and does not appear on a dance-competition show. This is not some monumental decision that is going to affect the course of history, it is a blip on the screen of entertainment and culture that will be forgotten faster than the food particles that you floss from your teeth. 

Yes — Sean Spicer lied. No, I don’t like that either. The thing is, though, if you were from another planet and saw people’s reaction to his casting, you’d probably think that DWTS had cast a literal ax murderer on the show, and I think any reasonable person would have to call that sort of reaction just a bit too extreme. 

What’s more, it’s important to note that all of these reactions to Spicer’s casting represent only one demographic in America. Yep, spoiler alert: Liar or not, there are still very many Americans who do not mind Sean Spicer, and even very many Americans who like Sean Spicer. All that DWTS was trying to do was increase its viewership by attempting to entice this largely ignored demographic. That’s not an outrage, it’s a business decision that others in Hollywood might be smart to imitate. 

In any case, all of the people who have written these scathing, the-sky-is-falling tweets and think-pieces about this non-issue issue are really only ensuring that more people watch. DWTS had been something that most people had forgotten about, and yet they’ve somehow managed to give it more gravitas than the Super Bowl. They may think there will be a boycott, but I bet there will be more people tuning in — whether to cheer on Spicer or to make fun of him — and what more could ABC (and Spicer himself) really ask for from all of this?


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