‘DWTS’ Producers Respond to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Sexism Claims (UPDATE)
UPDATE (3/20/2017 at 11:30 a.m. ET):
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, longtime executive producers Joe Sungkur and Ashley Edens weighed in on the story behind the Bachelorette’s reported snub.
First, they firmly denied Kaitlyn’s claims that Nick Viall’s casting was about gender (after no female franchise stars have participated in the show since 2005).
“There's no rhyme or reason to it. In some seasons it works out and some seasons it doesn't,” Ashley stated. “This season we wanted Nick.”
She continued, “[It's] based on when we're casting and the whole cast we're pulling in and what other reality stars we already have in place.”
Not much in a way of reassurance, but there might still be hope.
“Who knows what could happen in the future,” Joe chimed in.
Hey, maybe this is our chance to get Rachel Lindsay on the show next fall! Fingers crossed, right?
Click through for more on Kaitlyn’s DWTS and Bachelor producers feud!
Original story (3/2/2017 at 12 p.m. ET):
Kait initially called out Mike Fleiss on social media earlier this week, pointing out that the Bachelor creator wouldn’t allow her to do the dance competition show but was A-OK with Nick Viall (and three previous male stars) doing it.
Now, she’s elaborating on these statements, explaining why she broke her silence on the whole matter.
“I believe men and women should be afforded the same opportunities,” she says in a statement to Us Weekly.
“That has not been the case with the Bachelorettes and the Bachelors. I had an offer to do Dancing With the Stars and was told by Mike I could not.”
The 31-year-old then gives some backstory into how she (unsuccessfully) battled to do the show two years ago.
“I was told by Mike that it is bad for his brand, and that he is sick of people wanting fame from his show,” she explains.
“I am a dancer and wanted to do it,” she adds, sharing that fiancé Shawn Booth was also on board.
She recalls, “He even wrote Mike emails. I told Mike it was my passion. I was told Shawn should be my only passion.”
“My hope in speaking out is that future Bachelorettes are given the same opportunity as Bachelors. Whether it be a wedding, to dance, or another show.”
“Ben had the decision to do dancing or his own show,” she reveals.
By sharing all of this, the Nashville-based gal hopes future female stars will be “treated the same” and be able to “choose whatever will make them happy.”
All totally understandable — though one of the show’s producers is telling a very different story, one having nothing to do with the reality star’s gender.
Robert Mills, ABC’s senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming, weighed in on the matter on Channel 33’s Bachelor Party podcast this week.
Though he confirms it’s true Kait wasn’t allowed to go on the show, he says it had more to do with her coming right after Chris Soules.
“He had broken up with Whitney [Bischoff] right after [the show]‚ which I think would have happened anyway, but I think that there was some speculation maybe [doing DWTS] hastened it,” he remembers of the Season 19 star’s failed engagement.
He continues, “I think that, for whatever reason at that time, it was thought that… maybe it’s not the right time for a Bachelor or Bachelorette to be dancing.”
That being said, he does feel bad for her.
“The timing was unfortunate,” he admits. “As you can see, she’s not over it, not thrilled.”
As for Nick, Robert thinks the Season 21 star will be a “good” addition to the dance show, even if some think he can’t dance.
“I think he thinks he can,” he quips.
Dancing With the Stars Season 24 premieres Monday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of Kaitlyn Bristowe below:
Exclusive: Kaitlyn & Shawn Heading Back to TV?! (VIDEO)
Whitney Bischoff & Fiancé Double Date With ShawnKait
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Exclusive: Is Kaitlyn Bristowe Writing Her Own Tell-All?
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