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Behind the Ballroom Curtain: Tom Bergeron Unveils the 'Betrayal' That Culminated in His Departure from 'Dancing with the Stars'


Tom Bergeron, the familiar face that graced "Dancing with the Stars" from its inception in 2005 until his departure in 2020, recently pulled back the curtain on the decisive moment that marked the end of his hosting era. In an interview on former "DWTS" pro Cheryl Burke's podcast, "Sex, Lies and Spray Tans," Bergeron shared that politics played a pivotal role in his exit.

The saga began in 2019 when Bergeron, concerned about the divisive political climate, advised the show's executives against casting any politicians. They seemingly concurred, only for Bergeron to be blindsided when they revealed the inclusion of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Recalling the moment, Bergeron expressed his frustration, stating, "Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn’t do. Don’t go there. This is, you know, not the right time, play to our strengths, be the show that gives people a break from all this bulls—." Despite suggesting he could take the season off, producers offered to release him from his contract, leaving Bergeron feeling "pissed off."

The turning point came when Bergeron issued a statement expressing his displeasure with Spicer's casting, carefully avoiding naming names or political parties. He emphasized the betrayal he felt, stating, "So at that moment, I knew this is probably my last season, because of that one betrayal. Up until that point, there were people of character there."

In a moment of candid frustration, Bergeron admitted, "They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them." However, he clarified that his intention was to convey to viewers that this was a step too far, particularly on the eve of an election year. He reiterated that his reaction would have been the same, regardless of the political affiliation of the cast member.

Bergeron's revelation offers a glimpse into the internal dynamics and clashes that sometimes occur behind the scenes of television productions. It underscores the delicate balance between entertainment, political sensitivity, and the integrity of a long-standing host who felt compelled to take a stand against what he perceived as a breach of trust.

In conclusion, Tom Bergeron's candid revelation about the political betrayal that led to his departure from "Dancing with the Stars" offers a poignant glimpse into the complexities of television production and the personal convictions of a seasoned host. The moment of truth came when Bergeron's advice to steer clear of political figures was disregarded, and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was cast.

Bergeron's frustration and sense of betrayal reached a breaking point, prompting him to consider stepping away for the season. However, the producers' offer to release him from his contract left him feeling "pissed off." The situation escalated when Bergeron, in an act of transparency, issued a statement expressing his discontent with the casting decision. This marked the turning point, and he realized that it was likely his last season on the show.

His decision to speak out, not naming individuals or political parties but emphasizing the breach of trust, reflected his commitment to principles over personal interests. Bergeron's revelation provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the entertainment industry, where clashes of values and decisions behind the scenes can shape the trajectory of long-standing shows.

Ultimately, Bergeron's departure underscores the delicate balance between the pursuit of entertainment, sensitivity to political climates, and the integrity of a host who felt compelled to take a stand against what he perceived as a significant breach of trust. It's a reminder that even in the glittering world of reality television, real-world values and convictions can play a decisive role in the unfolding drama behind the scenes.