Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday tackled the growing controversy surrounding the upcoming appearance of transgender author and activist Chaz Bono on “Dancing With the Stars,” and during an interview with Bono, took a call from his famous mom, Cher.
In her opening monologue, DeGeneres chastised critics for targeting Bono, who have said his appearance sends a bad message to kids.
“If you’re going to talk about messages in reality television, there are a lot of other shows we should be talking about– how about (MTV’s) “Sixteen and Pregnant,” “Teen Moms,” how about those shows?” Ellen asked. “I’m more outraged by those shows than who tangos on Monday nights.”
Later in the show, Bono, 42, received a surprise phone call from his world-famous mother, who continues to express outrage over the criticism of Chaz’ appearance on the dance competition show, and again slammed her son’s critics:
“If you got that excess time and that amount of hostility, I’m not so sure that I can say anything to you that would make you change your feelings,” Cher said.
“Those are such feelings of hostility and fear, that I don’t know that I would have any magic words to make you feel more comfortable and to soothe you into not being terrified of my child dancing on “Dancing With The Fucking Stars.”
Earlier this month, Fox News commentator Dr. Keith Albow warned parents not to let their children watch the show, and said “the last thing vulnerable children and adolescents need, as they wrestle with the normal process of establishing their identities, is to watch a captive crowd in a studio audience applaud on cue for someone whose search for an identity culminated with the removal of her breasts, the injection of steroids and, perhaps one day soon, the fashioning of a make-shift phallus to replace her vagina.”
The website OneMillionMoms.com said “Dancing With the Stars” has “spun out of control,” and called for a boycott of the series for casting Bono and openly gay performer Carson Kressley.
The new season of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres Sept. 19 on ABC.