DWTS Host Tom Bergeron's Comments About Witney Carson Are Raising Eyebrows
Once again, Tom Bergeron has Dancing with the Stars viewers everywhere cringing at a gross, sexist comment he made on air. This time, pro dancer Witney Carson was the object of Bergeron's sleaze, and it just serves as a painful reminder that whatever progress we think we've made in eradicating Hollywood's culture of sexism isn't as pronounced as we thought.
The moment happened after Carson and her celebrity partner, Frankie Muniz, finished their dance. They were getting their critiques when judge Carrie Ann Inaba told Muniz, "So far for me, that was the closest thing to perfection. I mean, you are so exquisite when you dance, it’s just so clean. I look for mistakes, but I don’t see them — except for when you almost lost control of Witney there."
That's when Bergeron jumped in, saying, "I’m guessing he’s not the first guy who's lost control of Witney."
The comment rightfully drew gasps from the crowd. In what world is that an appropriate thing to say?
This whole thing is very reminiscent of last year, when Bergeron was interviewing gymnast Simone Biles and asked her why she wasn't smiling after her dance. Once again, the host has proven himself to be someone who finds it OK to police women's appearances and sexually harass them, even on live television. Given that information, what do you think he's comfortable doing when the cameras aren't rolling?
We are in the middle of a turning point in Hollywood. Hundreds of women have come forward to talk about the absolutely pervasive culture of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry, causing the careers of some powerful men to crumble for the way they've habitually mistreated women. And yet, here's a man doing it in front of our eyes. He is harassing women in plain sight, and nothing has been done. Have we really made any progress?
Bergeron's behavior is an inappropriate, ugly reminder that sexism still reigns in Hollywood, and even though women have taken a step forward toward safety and equality in the industry, on last night's episode of DWTS, we took two steps back.