After ABC announced the newest lineup for Dancing with the Stars(DWTS), many were taken aback by the backlash of comments about contestant Chaz Bono.
Formerly Chastity Bono, Chaz is the first transgender competitor on the show, which is also what he is best known for (the documentary Becoming Chaz was nominated for three Emmys yesterday). Within days, the Internet was clogged with complaints, debates, and defenses (including from Bono's famous mom Cher) about Bono's participation in the reality TV dance show. One widely circulated comment on ABC's board states: "I am not about to risk the potential for on screen dialogue about sex changes and gender confusion while my 7 and 9 year old are watching."
Others believe Bono's appearance is inappropriate for young viewers. The American Family Association's OneMillionMoms.com, which also protests contestant Carson Kressley, formerly of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, says, "Email ABC Network and let them know that we will not tolerate these subjects being forced into our homes. DWTS airs 8/7 central when children are awake and Christian families will not enhance the ratings by watching the show when it returns September 19 unless this issue is taken care of and these cast members are replaced."
Similarly, psychiatrist Keith Ablow of Fox News urged families not to watch, as he believes Bono's situation will glorify gender confusion and lead impressionable children to think it's okay to choose a gender. Meanwhile, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins dubbed DTWS's new season "ABC's Too Left Feat."
Many others rushed to Bono's defense, including dance partner Lacey Schwimmer, who said, "I think it's just showing that people need to be OK with this. We need to evolve. It's 2011. ...1
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