Following the past few episodes of Dancing With the Stars, fans have taken to social media to express their frustration with one of the judges. Now, that judge has said she feels as though she’s being cyberbullied by fans of the show.
During an episode of The Talk, which she co-hosts, Carrie Ann Inaba said that some fans have been targeting her online in recent weeks, and she said that’s something that often happens at this point in the season.
“I still get bullied,” Inaba said on the show. “Right about this time is when people start to bully me because of the way I judge people. I can’t believe it still happens as adults.”
For context, fans have been lashing out at Inaba on social media, as they perceive she judges Dancing With the Stars contestant and ex-bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe too harshly.
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Inaba Says People Online Have Bullied Her
In the segment on The Talk, Inaba opened up about the hate she has been receiving from DWTS viewers.
“I want to tell people who bully, it doesn’t make me change the way I judge,” she said. “I’m not about to change because you try to bully me. It only makes me stand stronger in my convictions and what I believe in.”
She said that she judges the way that she does based on her dancing background.
“That is my job to do it and I will always do it based on my own conscience, not because you’re trying to tell me what to do,” she added.
The Dancers Believe the Criticism Feels Personal
Though Kaitlyn Bristowe has not said that she believes the criticism she’s received from Inaba is personal, her professional dance partner Artem Chigventsev said that he feels as though it could be.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight after the show, Chigvintsev shared that he felt as though some of the perceived animosity coming from Inaba might be personal.
“At this point it starts being a little personal,” Chigvintsev said. “I feel it’s definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel it’s different expectations. I don’t know. I’m watching back the dance itself, it’s like, ‘Oh, you can kick sharper!’ Well, I can say that about everybody who dances on the show today. I don’t know. It’s really odd.”
Bristowe joked that she would love to be able to ask Inaba more questions about her scores.
“I would love to have her on the podcast, ask her a few questions,” Bristowe said. “I don’t know! I don’t know! It’s always reassuring to talk to other people and have them asking those same questions because we come back and we’re like, ‘Huh?’ We’re good at accepting constructive criticism.”
Bristowe’s boyfriend, Jason Tartick, has also spoken out on her behalf, saying that he believes that the criticism is harsh and unfair toward her, though he said he knows that she will bounce back.
Dancing With the Stars airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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