Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and dance partner Jenna Johnson were sadly eliminated out of Dancing With The Stars on Monday evening.
Talking to reporters afterward, Brown returned to a topic over which he faced criticism early on in the season: his friendship with former White House staffer Sean Spicer.
Spicer was press secretary for President Donald Trump for seven months from the time he took office in January 2017. Since resigning, Spicer has written a memoir of his time in the role, in which he praised Trump. He has not expressed regret or discomfort over any of Trump’s anti-LGBTQ actions since taking office.
People reports Brown telling reporters after his elimination that he’d been working on Spicer.
“My goal coming into this was to introduce myself to people who have never seen Queer Eye, to let them know who I am. And also, my goal has always been to show how if you can show kindness and lead with love, things can change.
Acknowledging the criticism he received for saying he was looking forward to competing alongside Spicer when the season got underway, Brown said, “Day one I got backlash [for supporting him]. I started this show with people telling me, ‘You’re horrible, you’re crazy, you’re stupid.’ Because I showed someone who has a different political view than mine kindness.”
The backlash was so extreme that Brown temporarily stepped away from social media. He says that as the show has gone on, he and Spicer have become friends – despite their political differences. He says he has pointed out to Spicer how thing he has said has hurt Brown, both as a gay man and person of color.
“Through this process, Sean’s trailer has been next to mine and I have literally every day been planting seeds in his heart.
“And literally, I could see each week those seeds … blossoming and that’s why [when I was sent home] he got emotional.
“Sean is literally someone who I would’ve never thought I could be friends with, and I’m going to walk away from here calling him a friend.
“I don’t think Sean’s going to make it to the end [of the competition], but I’m proud of him. I really am proud of him, because he’s had fun every week and I think he’s exceptional.”
Spicer told People that he’d become “close” to Brown throughout their time together on the show.
“I think that it’s been great getting to know [Brown], getting to discuss things with him. And so it’s tough to watch somebody that you’ve really got close to go home when you know how hard they’ve worked and how much progress they’ve made.”
Spicer is one of seven celebrity contestants remaining on this season of Dancing with the Stars.