Tom Bergeron Just Revealed Why He Was Fired From "Dancing With the Stars"
The former host admitted "the show that I left was not the show that I loved."
Part of Dancing With the Stars is knowing that another celebrity will leave the ballroom floor for good each week. But in October 2020, fans were stunned when producers announced that original host Tom Bergeron would be leaving the show after 28 seasons at the helm, along with co-host Erin Andrews. And as viewers continue to mourn his departure, Bergeron has opened up about the experience and revealed why he was fired from the popular show. Read on to see why he waltzed away from the longtime hosting gig.
Tom Bergeron says he was fired for "butting heads" with producers, adding that the show had changed.
A year after his firing, Bergeron began to delve into the details with his fellow former America's Funniest Home Videos host, Bob Saget, during a September episode of the Bob Saget's Here for You podcast. Bergeron admitted that he felt his time on the show was coming to an end leading up to the firing before the beginning of the 29th season, saying that things had changed since his first days on the job.
"In all candor, the show that I left was not the show that I loved," he explained. "So, the end of the season that turned out to be my last season [in 2019], I kind of knew. So I took everything out of my dressing room that I really wanted … It was kind of obvious that we were kind of butting heads."
This wasn't the first time Bergeron had admitted there was trouble behind the cameras. During an interview with author and talk show host Vicki Abelson in April, he explained that his changing relationship with the show's producers had begun long before his departure. "The show had changed a lot for me starting in early 2008. We had very clear, sometimes public, differences of opinion about the new showrunner and some of the execs and happily, I was at a point in my life and career where I didn't have to just shut up and take it. I decided to go public with some concerns I had at that time and I think that set the stage for it. I kind of saw it coming," he confessed.
Bergeron had publicly taken issue with "divisive" stars who had been booked on the show.
Bergeron stopped short of explaining precisely what had driven a wedge between himself and the show's producers. But some believe he may be referencing a public stance he took against the booking of Sean Spicer, press secretary for former President Donald Trump, on the show's 28th season.
In a statement released on Twitter during the summer of 2019, Bergeron outlined a discussion he had with the show's new executive producer over Spicer's controversial addition to the show's lineup. He explained that in offering up suggestions, his "chief among them was my hope that DWTS, in its return following an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations." Bergeron added that even though he left the meeting believing the two parties were in agreement, "a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, 'go in a different direction.'"
Bergeron wrote at the time: "It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise. We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it's their call."
Bergeron only recently admitted that he had been fired from the show.
Fans mourned en masse when it was announced that Bergeron would be leaving the popular celebrity competition show. But it wasn't until recently that the former host admitted that the decision to part ways wasn't technically his.
While promoting his appearance on Saget's podcast in a Tweet on Sept. 13, Bergeron responded to a fan's question about his reasons for leaving the show. "I had to leave. It's really awkward if one sticks around after being fired," he replied, cheekily adding a winking face emoji.
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Bergeron admits that he has moved on from the experience and is still grateful.
Now, two years out from his departure, Bergeron admitted to Saget that he's accepted what's happened and moved on. "It's pretty far in the rearview mirror for me. I'm on to other stuff," he said.
Bergeron then offered a frank explanation of why he's kept quiet about the ordeal for so long and chooses to remain positive. "You know what nobody needs to hear? A whiny millionaire … It's so self-absorbed. I mean, look. I had great fortune. I mean, I had two network shows running simultaneously for the better part of a decade and a half."
Best Life has reached out to representatives for Dancing With the Stars for comment on Bergeron's statements but has yet to hear back.