Does ‘DWTS’ Have a Racism Problem?
There have been a few questionable things going on with Dancing With the Stars lately that makes many of the fans wonder if there might be some sort of race-related issues going on…
‘DWTS’ Racist Elimination Pattern!?
Due to the nature of eliminations this season, we’ve actually been directly told who the bottom two have been each week. And there have been some clear…similarities.
Week 2: Mary Wilson & Brandon Armstrong vs. Ray Lewis & Cheryl Burke
Week 3 (no elimination): Lamar Odom & Peta Murgatroyd vs. Kel Mitchell & Witney Carson
Week 4: Lamar Odom & Peta Murgatroyd vs. Karamo Brown & Jenna Johnson
Week 6: Ally Brooke & Sasha Farber vs. Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy
Every week they’ve announced a bottom 2 so far there’s always been at least one person of color there, and for the first three times both celebrities were black. This week marked the first time all of the remaining black celebrities were safe and the first time a white celebrity was there, but with Ally Brooke’s position there it also meant that every person of color competing on the season has been in the bottom 2 (yes, even the pros – Brandon and Cheryl were the only two pros of color on Season 28, and they were in the bottom 2 together for the very first elimination).
Some will see this as a coincidence, but hardcore DWTS fans have seen similar situations in previous years. Last season two of the strongest dancers were Tinashe and Juan Pablo de Pace, but the finals consisted entirely of white celebrities (and Tinashe – the highest scorer of the season up to that point – was eliminated in Week 4). Yes, DWTS is about people learning to dance and showing growth, and yes, we’ve seen lots of people of color win the show, but the scenario of a competent dancer of color getting eliminated in favor of a weak white dancer sticking around because of “effort” has repeated itself a few too many times for us to simply write it off as a coincidence.
Are The ‘DWTS’ Judges Complicit?
Yes, some of the celebrities of color have been closer to the bottom of the leader board more often than the top. But, as we often see on DWTS, there’s one white (and usually male) celebrity who has been doing far worse than everyone else yet keeps overcoming the vote spread needed to stick around over others. In previous season it’s been people like Bill Engvall, Bonner Bolton, or Bobby Bones, and in Season 28 it’s Sean Spicer.
Sean Spicer Gets Special Treatment?
Let’s be honest here: Sean’s dances have been clearly worse than those of everyone else in the cast. The only person on a similar skill level to him was Lamar Odom, who was eliminated in Week 4. But even though these two men’s dance skills were similar, their treatment from the judges was not. Sean keeps getting positively-toned comments from the judges with focus on things like “improvement” (despite not actually improving all that much) while Lamar tended to be spoken to much more negatively – despite dancing that really wasn’t that much worse than Sean’s – with more focus on things like his “mistakes”.
Again, this kind of thing has happened in the past as well. Last season the judges were notably harsh on the aforementioned Tinashe, who was a very talented dancer, but would often elect to comment on the “entertainment” provided by eventual winner Bobby Bones instead of his considerably weak dancing.
So, What Might This Be Telling Us?
There have been some other possible and blatant instances of racism on Dancing With the Stars, but these two things have been cropping up a lot lately. It’s really hard to say what can be done about any of this, particularly the results, but it’s definitely food for thought.