Some “Dancing With the Stars” fans were irate over the scores and results during week 3 of the show, accusing the judges and fans of racism, particularly a comment made by judge Carrie Ann Inaba in reference to Jimmie Allen’s performance, plus the idea that contestants of color are given lower scores than white contestants.
Some Fans Are Mad About Carrie Ann Inaba’s Critique of Jimmie Allen
Toward the middle of the episode, country singer and “American Idol” alum Jimmie Allen and pro dancer Emma Slater danced a salsa that received a 20 out of 30 — two 6s from Goodman and Inaba and an 8 from Tonioli.
But during Inaba’s critique of the dance, she told Allen, “As far as the dance goes, I don’t know what’s going on with your fists. You got a little monkey fist going on and then it distracted me the whole dance because it didn’t look like you were strong, it kind of looked like you were shrinking in so you were cocking your wrists.”
“Did CarrieAnne (sic) say he had ‘monkey fists’?” wrote one viewer.
Another added, “Wait did Carrie Ann say monkey wrists???”
A third wrote, “Did @carrieanninaba say ‘monkey fists’ to a black?? You racist b****!”
Another viewer called for her to be removed as a judge, writing, “I still cannot get over it… Carrie Ann’s comment was so intentional & racists on calling-out a contestant ~ monkey-hands? She should be removed as a judge.”
In case you are unaware, the monkey comparison drew ire because it is a historically racist comparison that has been leveled at Black people.
In a 2018 New York Times article, the comparison was called a “toxically racist ape characterization” that contributes to a “process of dehumanization often leads Americans to view African-American men as larger and more fearsome than they are.”
“This depiction — promoted by slave traders, historians and practitioners of “scientific” racism — was used to justify slavery, lynching and the creation of the Jim Crow state,” wrote author Brent Staples.
So, it isn’t just a harmless comparison. It is rooted in racism even if the intention is not there and that is why Inaba’s comment made some viewers angry.
Fans Are Also Accusing Both The Show and the Voters of Being Racist
On the Monday, October 4 episode of the show, the bottom two pairs were Christine Chiu and Pasha Pashkov and Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong. Chiu is a woman of Asian descent, while Moore and Armstrong are both African American.
After Chiu and Moore were in the bottom two despite not having the lowest scores — the lowest scoring celebrities were Cody Rigsby with an 18 and Brian Austin Green and Iman Shumpert with 19s — some fans were upset with both the judges’ scoring and the fans’ votes.
“The fact Christine and Kenya were in the bottom two is pure racism and misogyny y’all rather vote for mediocre white men like Brian yet punish women of color with potential,” wrote on fan.
Another wrote, “DWTS fans really are racist huh?”
Several fans took umbrage with Len Goodman’s scores in particular, like giving JoJo Siwa an 8 and giving Moore a 7, and giving Shumpert, Jimmie Allen and Matt James, who are also African American, all 6s.
“‘Dancing With the Stars’ is so racist… Kenya clearly danced better than JoJo and they gave her a lesser score. They always give the black dancers the worst songs and they always give the black pros the worst stars to dance with so they never go far! Fed up with the show,” wrote one viewer.
“Can we get racist Len back off the panel to give the contestants who are POC a chance please?” wrote another viewer, while a third wrote, “It’s something about Len I don’t like. Feels a little racist.”
“I call them like I see it, Kenya killed it tonight it was no way she should’ve been in the bottom 2 i hate to bring it up but Len is a complete racist,” wrote another fan.
At the end of the episode, the judges voted on which couple to send home and Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli voted to keep Moore and Armstrong, but Goodman said he would have voted to keep Chiu, to which one fan wrote, “We know Len’s racist a** wouldn’t have saved Kenya.”
Another viewer added, “Len is a racist! Christine was saved last time, for that reason alone Kenya gets the edge I’m sick of his a**.”
“Dancing With the Stars” season 30 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.
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