Perhaps the biggest buzz following the announcement of the new Dancing With the Stars cast was the inclusion of Sean Spicer, with many upset the ex-White House press secretary was invited on the show. Writing for the New York Times, TV critic James Poniewozik makes the case for why including the "liar" is a "disgrace." And while some staffers at ABC News—which pushes DWTS on its news programs—shrugged off the news, others were miffed. "It's a slap in the face to those of us who had to deal with his baloney," one tells CNN Business. There was one notably high-profile grumbling. In a Twitter post, DWTS host Tom Bergeron noted that in a lunch with a show producer months ago, he'd suggested offering viewers "a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of any inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations."
He said Wednesday it was obvious the show went "in a different direction." "We can agree to disagree," he added. Spicer, who Variety reports will make six figures for his appearance, is also addressing the hubbub, telling Mediaite the show is simply "an opportunity to have some fun" and refuting Poniewozik's theory he's doing the show to "tap-dance out of infamy." "I'm in this because I enjoy it," he says. "I'm very comfortable with who I am, what I believe, and who I support." As for Bergeron's wariness, Spicer says, "My hope is that ... he sees how bringing [a] diverse group of people can help instill a greater degree of stability and respect among people." (Read more Sean Spicer stories.)