‘DWTS’ Under Fire For Casting Of Chaz Bono, EP Defends Casting Him

Written by Michael Lambarde on Sep. 01, 2011

There was controversy when Bristol Palin did Dancing with the Stars, but the ABC television network is now under fire for its latest batch of casting for its upcoming season, set to debut this month. This season, the casting of Chaz Bono, an LGBT rights activist who happens to be transgendered, is causing the eyebrows of many to be raised.

Critics and longtime watchers of the hit reality series, which regularly tops the Nielsen ratings, criticized the network for “no longer being a family show,” “reaching a new low,” and “trying to desperately raise ratings” because of its casting of Bono.

DWTS executive producer Conrad Green defended the casting decisions in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday. “What we try to do is reflect a broad range of the entertainment world in the casting of the show,” he said. “We’re always trying to find new things that people haven’t seen, new types of stories and that’s what we’ve been doing this season.”

He also denied that the show has an alleged “homosexual agenda” as many have been claiming because of the casting of Bono and former Queer Eye star Carson Kressley. “We don’t have an agenda of any sorts. I think of the 120 celebrities we’ve put on the show, we’ve had, I think now, three transgender or gay contestants. If that’s a homosexual agenda, we’re not doing very well at it,” Green added.

For his part, Chaz, who was born a female and underwent surgery to become a man, is saying that the reason he decided to do the show is to prove that “transgender people are just like everyone else. We’re not people to be afraid of or misunderstood.” He told Us Weekly that he would “love to get that message across.”

His mother Cher also defended her son on Twitter Wednesday, bashing those that are criticizing Bono for being cast on the show.

“I support him no matter what he chooses 2do! God! will there always be haters! It took COURAGE 2 do dwts ! TG Chaz has an Unlimited supply,” she tweeted. “Mothers don’t stop Getting angry with stupid bigots who (expletive) with their children” she also said.

Lacey Schwimmer, who was announced as being the professional dance partner of Bono, is already defending her partner, saying that it is “not okay” to be making such hateful remarks. “Why people feel it’s okay to judge, bully and harass others forcing themselves is beyond me. Shame on you people,” she tweeted.

  • Leolyons

    Seriously? People don’t have anything better to do?? Who gives a rats ass what gender Chaz was born, get over it people!!

  • Sal1994977


  • I doubt that Chaz’s gender is going to have any impact whatsoever on his dancing, which is the only thing that matters on DWTS. It’s amazing how many people in this country have nothing better to do than pass judgment on others.

    • Leolyons

      I agree!!

  • Believinghands

    Dancing w/ the Stars is most definitely not a family show—but then this culture that thinks 21/2 men is a family show. No wonder our families are falling apart.

  • Cmbsmith14

    I forone cant wait to wantch the show, my best friend is trans-gender , Leave the man alone.

  • Mylove

    People are more intelligent, know more than the media will ever credit them with, because if they did acknowledge the intelligence of the people this might imply that people dont need hollywood to think for them. We dont need hollywood but hollywood needs us a lot more than we need them.
    Does hollywood actually think that putting chaz on display will make her a man? Do they actually believe this will make people accept shes a man?
    Yes deceptive editing, homosexual agendas, and the sickest thoughts imaginable will be transcended through hollywood to your TV. Its has always been up to us to change the channel. I just get tired of the justification methods used by hollywood considering they are professional deceivers. We dont have to judge these people they do it for you. What was a family show is now a freak show and I can assure you Im not targeting chaz in this statment. I know she has struggled throughout her life and this is obvious but why would she think going on TV would cause people to believe shes a man now? This is embarrassing to acknowledge its all done for ratings just like nancy grace carrying on about casey saying its justice for Caylee, no this is justice for ratings.