“It’s nothing new,” Spicer told Variety after he made his “DWTS” debut on Monday night.
ABC faced quick backlash following the announcement last month that Spicer had been cast on the show. Even “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron released a statement expressing disappointment that producers politicized the show.
“Look, I’m used to that, you’ve got to zone it out, enjoy yourself. I know who I am and what I believe and I’m comfortable with that,” Spicer said. “I did this to have some fun, enjoy myself and hopefully show what a great opportunity this show is for the country to bring people together, allow you to root for another person regardless of their background. And we’re missing a lot of that right now.”
“And so tonight, you can be for everybody — you can cheer everybody on regardless of what they believe or where they’re from or what they think on a particular policy, that’s good,” he continued. “And if people in America can look tonight and say for two hours we tuned out everything else that’s going on, relaxed, had fun and laughed at Sean Spicer wearing a lime green shirt, then God bless it.”
Spicer and his professional partner Lindsay Arnold danced a salsa routine to the Spice Girls hit “Spice Up Your Life,” earning a score of 12/30. The judges were diplomatic in their reactions to Spicer’s dancing, praising him for taking the risk of appear on the show.
It’s been two years since Spicer resigned from his six-month stint as White House press secretary.
“I thought it was time to do something fun and for myself and be able to do something different, new, have some fun and enjoy myself in a way that I haven’t before,” Spicer explained.
Spicer insists he isn’t looking to change anyone’s minds about how they may feel about him. “I think my previous jobs have been one-dimensional,” he said. “So if people see something different and say ‘I like this guy’ great. If they still don’t like me, I can sleep well at night.”
For all his critics, Spicer also has his supporters. One example — former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tweeted in favor of Spicer, writing “Wanna create an emotional meltdown in Hollyweird? Vote for Sean Spicer to win ‘Dancing with the Stars’ tonight and every night he’s on….[he’s] a good guy and a brave sport to go on ‘DWTS.’ Let’s show him some love!”