Have been O.J. Simpson and Sean Hannity now not to be had?

In what’s both an indication that the display has outlived its shelf lifestyles or that the rustic in reality wishes an intervention, ABC introduced its lineup for “Dancing with the Stars: The Morally Bankrupt Version” on Wednesday morning. Along with the standard C-list celebrities and getting older stars in search of a reboot, the forged contains:  

► Lamar Odom, billed as a “former NBA famous person” however very best identified for just about death in a Nevada brothel after binging on cocaine and a Viagra-like drug. Oh, and being married to a Kardashian.

Lamar Odom is offered Wednesday as a member of the forged for the approaching season with “Dancing with the Stars.” (Photograph: Dave Kotinsky, Getty Pictures)

► Ray Lewis, an NFL Corridor of Famer who will without a doubt use his airtime to spout spiritual platitudes and recreate his patented “Squirrel” dance. Simply don’t be expecting him to present a complete accounting of his function within the stabbing deaths of two men outside a nightclub in 2000. Lewis was initially charged with murder, but the charges were dropped and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. 

► Sean Spicer, who was an active and enthusiastic participant in degrading the dignity of the White House and our political discourse as President Donald Trump’s first press secretary. Watching him get his scores from the judges should be reallll interesting. No, that wasn’t a five you saw Len Goodman hold up, it was a 15!

I get it, “DWTS” is a reality TV show. It is meant to be mindless entertainment, not a discourse on economic policy or a debate on the best ways to address climate change.

But have a little integrity.

By showcasing Lewis, Odom and Spicer, “DWTS” is, in effect, rewarding people for being their worst selves. Lewis and Odom weren’t picked because of their athletic abilities, just as Spicer wasn’t picked for his ability to put words together. They were picked because they’re controversial, and ABC is banking that a sizable number of viewers will tune in either out of curiosity or to hate watch.

Lie, cheat, put others in harm’s way – it’s all good if it makes for good ratings!

That isn’t how the world should work, though.

“DWTS” has had people with questionable characters before. Floyd Mayweather, a repeated domestic abuser, appeared one season. So did comedian Andy Dick, who last year pleaded no contest to lewd contact and battery charges after a woman said he groped her on a street and made lewd comments to her. 

The inclusion of Lewis, Odom and Spicer feels different, however. Maybe it’s the constant turmoil this country is in or the slow realization that by elevating those who are famous simply for being famous – aka the Kardashianification of America – we’ve lowered ourselves. Hedonism and narcissism might get you book deals and magazine covers and jobs in TV, but it doesn’t mean you’re a good person.

And it sure doesn’t mean you should be held up as some kind of role model, fawned over and cheered as you take up space in America’s living rooms and on our computer screens each week. 

Host Tom Bergeron seemed to acknowledge this, saying in a Twitter post that he had hoped this season would be a “joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.”

“Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction,’ ” Bergeron wrote. “It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long-term interests of the franchise.”

If “DWTS” is having to droop this low to be related, alternatively, possibly ABC must take that as a touch that it’s time to transport on. 

Apply USA TODAY Sports activities columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour


Display Thumbnails

Display Captions

Final SlideNext Slide