In the wake of Monday night’s disruption on “Dancing With the Stars,” producers of the competition series are considering stepping up security measures — particularly around controversial contestant Ryan Lochte.
According to a source close to the show, producer BBC Worldwide is discussing placing increased security around Lochte following an incident Monday night in which two audience members rushed the Olympic swimmer during his performance with dance partner Cheryl Burke. The incident briefly interrupted the live broadcast on ABC.
The two men, Sam Sotoodeh, 59, and Barzeen Soroudi, 25, were tackled by private security personnel and detained at CBS Television City, where the show is shot. The Los Angeles Police Department later confirmed that Sotoodeh and Soroudi were arrested and charged with suspicion of trespassing. Neither Lochte nor anyone else on the show was injured.
Footage of the incident played Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” showed Sotoodeh, wearing a shirt bearing Lochte’s name with a red slash through it, suddenly appearing in front of Lochte and facing the camera before being tackled by guards. While audiences only say judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s reaction, other cameras caught the incident. Watch the video below:
More anti-Lochte protesters wearing the same shirts then stood up in the audience and made their presence known before being urged to leave by a visibly upset Derek Hough, one of the show’s professional dancers, who shouted at them, “This is a positive show.”
“By the time I saw the two guys coming with their t-shirts, our security guys had them sucking floor,” Tom Bergeron, co-host of “Dancing With the Stars,” told “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos.
“We have a very good security system here,” Bergeron added. “There are metal detectors. Bags are checked. … But I think our security did a great job.”
A spokesperson for BBC Worldwide did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lochte has been a controversial figure since making false claims of being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Summer Olympics. Last week he was suspended for 10 months from competing by the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming. The suspension came just nine days after he was announced as a competitor on the current season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
|‘Dancing With the Stars’ 2016 Cast|
“Dancing with the Stars” airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. The first celebrity will be eliminated next week.