'Dancing With the Stars' EP Reveals Why Chaz Bono Is a Good Fit for Show
When the new cast was announced for the 13th season of Dancing With the Stars, there was a flurry of negative reactions to the inclusion of Chaz Bono.
"I do not hate Chaz as a person. I just resent the media shoving so much of anyone's personal life choices down our throats," wrote one commenter, accusing ABC of pushing an agenda with its DWTS contestants.
But according to executive producer Conrad Green, that isn't what the network or the reality series is trying to do. In fact, there is much more behind Bono's casting.
"Chaz is a fantastic guy. I think a lot of our older audience will remember him in his youth appearing on the Sonny and Cher show. He comes from Hollywood royalty," Green tells The Hollywood Reporter.
He also gave credit to the DWTS audience, saying that they aren't as close-minded as people may think.
"The thing that is also worth remembering one of the great features of our show is we got quite a broad-minded audience who are often willing to give people a chance," Green explained. "They might have preconceptions about some of our celebrities before they meet them on the show, but on our show you get to see people in a way you've never seen them before."
Green hopes that viewers will tune in and make up their own mind about Bono rather than jumping to conclusions before seeing him compete and hearing more of his story.
"When we sat down with Chaz before getting him on the show, he was a really nice guy," Green says. "We just thought, 'Well, let's watch what happens,' and hopefully people will give him a chance and they can make up their decision after they see."
Earlier this week, Green told THR that DWTS tries to "reflect a broad range of the entertainment world in the casting of the show. We're also always trying to find new things that people haven't seen and new types of people. People with different stories. That's really what we've been doing this season."
On Tuesday, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said the castings of Carson Kressley and Bono was a "tremendous step forward."
Bono was born Chastity to Cher and Sonny Bono, and after undergoing a female-to-male gender transition, he legally changed his gender and name last year. It was revealed earlier this week that he would be paired with fifth year pro Lacey Schwimmer, who was a competitor on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.
Cher recently took to Twitter voicing her approval of the casting of Chaz Bono. “Lovelies! Chaz is Being Viciously Attacked on Blogs & Message boards about being on DWTS! This is Still America Right? It took guts 2 do it,” she wrote.