What the heck is up with DANCING WITH THE STARS? Seriously. What messages is the show now sending out with its casting choices? It's a hit competition reality series on ABC. ABC is owned by Disney. Here's my opinion as a black viewer.
We've gotten used to certain friendly sameness to the show over the years. Host Tom Bergeron will constantly look at the camera and arch his left eyebrow like a boomerang for comic effect. As for the casting, there has been a formula: A black NFL star, a Latino, a senior citizen (Cloris Leachman, Florence Henderson, Tommy Chong), someone who's openly a member of the LGBT community (Carson Kressley, Michael Sam, Chaz Bono), someone with a physical disability (Heather Mills, Marlee Matlin), a "sassy" black female (NeNe Leakes, Wendy Williams, Sherri Shepherd) and someone who's been in a Disney-owned production.
DANCING WITH THE STARS booked a young female member the DUCK DYNASTY reality TV series family. This was after Phil Robertson, of the TV family, made inflammatory comments about religion and homosexuality. The A&E reality show celebrity angered the LGBT community. Reportedly other comments of Robertson's came off as racially offensive.
The Washington Post broke that story.
So, again, what the heck is going on with the casting of DANCING WITH THE STARS? Because it now feels like it should be renamed DANCING WITH THE RACIALLY INSENSITIVE STARS. What does some of this casting for a show that airs during early prime time for family viewing tell kids about good sportsmanship, good conduct, respect for diversity and respect for people in other countries? Can you imagine if the Olympics were held in Los Angeles this summer and if Ryan Lochte had told that lie about being held up at gunpoint while at a gas station in South L.A. instead of Rio? That would have caused major drama here.
There are so many veteran talents from Broadway, Hollywood and TV who are known, who are socially responsible, and who could use the face time plus the money. A buddy of mine is Randy Jones. He still looks great, he gives a lot of his time to charity functions and he could do well on the dance floor. He was a member of the hit disco music group, The Village People. He'd love to be on DANCING WITH THE STARS.