In 2019, the longtime host exited the ABC show, along with co-host Erin Andrews.
While viewers might have been surprised when Tom Bergeron exited Dancing With the Stars in 2019 after 14 years as a host, the 66-year-old TV personality says he wasn't caught off-guard by the decision.
Speaking on the podcast Bob Saget's Here For You, Bergeron recounted the events leading up to his exit, many of which involved the inclusion of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer as a contestant. Bergeron, who was vocal about his disapproval at the time, noted that it wasn't about supporting one political party over another.
"Whether it was somebody I voted for or didn't, I didn't think a political person was an appropriate booking for the show, but also for the time we were going to be on, which was really on the cusp of the presidential election campaign, so we differed on that," he explained on the podcast. "I was public about that. I don't think that sat well with the producer or the network."
At the time, Bergeron released a statement making it clear that the casting decision went against not only his preferences but also against what he felt he had agreed upon with the producers. "We can all agree to disagree," he stated at the time. "As we do now, but ultimately it's their call. I'll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions."
Without directly naming Spicer during his podcast appearance, Bergeron added, "I told that person, 'Whether it was you or someone from the other major party who I would have voted for, that wasn't the issue. I would have released the same statement if it was somebody I supported because I don't think they belong here, now.' I just thought [DWTS] would be a nice place to take a break for everybody, for two hours a week. But they're entitled to do the show the way they think is best."
Bergeron added that he didn't really mourn his exit from the show. "The show that I left was not the show that I loved. So at the end of the seasons that turned out to be my last season, I kind of knew," he shared. "So I took everything out of my dressing room that I really wanted because I felt it was kind of obvious that we were kind of butting heads. It was great to have Erin [Andrews] at my side because she and I just kind of locked arms and did the show."
Bergeron and Andrews were both let go and replaced with Tyra Banks following the 2019 season.
"I think Erin and I had more fun being fired than virtually anybody," he said. "When I found out who they replaced me with and that that person had the same initials as me, my tweet was, 'Well, I guess I'm not getting back my monogramed towels.'"
Despite how things turned out, Bergeron still wants fans to support Dancing With the Stars.
"I look back at the time I spent there with really great fondness for the vast majority of it," he said. "And also there are people on the show performing that I still care about, and I want them to have long careers. I want people to still watch it and support them and understand that, sure, it's still different, but there are still very, very talented people that are going to be on your screens."
The current season of DWTS is airing Monday nights on ABC.