September 01, 2011 01:48:18 GMT
Explaining their decision to include transgender Chaz Bono, exec. producer Conrad Green says, 'What we try to do is reflect a broad range of the entertainment world in the casting of the show.'
The dancing partners of twelve contestants from "Dancing with the Stars" season 13 have been revealed. As it was rumored, David Arquette is paired with Kym Johnson, who guided last season's winner Hines Ward.
Returning pro dancer Derek Hough will team up with "Hairspray" actress Ricki Lake. Maksim Chmerkovskiy's brother Val also joins the competition this season, assisting George Clooney's ex Elisabetta Canalis.
Mark Ballas, who previously partnered with one of last season's frontrunners Chelsea Kane aka Chelsea Staub, will join forces with reality star Kristin Cavallari. Meanwhile, Chaz Bono is paired with female pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer.
Amid the excitement of "DWTS" new season, the show has been receiving negative reactions from fans for including transgender contestant Chaz. People accused ABC of pushing a homosexual agenda with such casting.
Responding to this backlash, executive producer Conrad Green tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We don't have an agenda of any sorts. I think of the 120 celebrities we've put on the show, we've had, I think now, three transgender or gay contestants. If that's a homosexual agenda, we're not doing very well at it."
"What we try to do is reflect a broad range of the entertainment world in the casting of the show," he goes on explaining, before adding "and we're always trying to find new things that people haven't seen, new types of stories and that's what we've been doing this season."
Chaz himself has previously shared his reason for joining the competition. "At this point I want people to know that transgender people are just like everyone else. We're not people to be afraid of or misunderstood," he told Us Weekly. "I would love to get that message across."
His singer mother Cher has also shown her support by tweeting, "Chaz is being viciously attacked on blogs and message boards about being on DWTS! This is still America right? It took guts to it." She added, "I support him no matter what he chooses to do...It took courage to do DWTS! Thank God Chaz has an unlimited supply."