Dancing with the Stars' 24th (yes, really!) season will start on Monday. And while we're so excited for the show's return, it's also been mired by a number of controversies.
One of those controversies involves former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe. The reality star claimed that Bachelor producer Mike Fleiss had stopped her from appearing on Dancing with the Stars — but that he'd allowed Bachelor stars Chris Soules, Sean Lowe, and Nick Viall to do DWTS.
Last month, in response to a fan asking why more Bachelor stars appear on DWTS than Bachelorette stars, Bristowe tweeted, "Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fliess told me I wasn't allowed. He said he didnt want people wanting fame after his show," along with the thinking-face emoji. For his part, Fleiss tweeted, ""@kaitlynbristowe has my total support if she wants to appear on DWTS!!!"
The Hollywood Reporter asked DWTS executive producers Joe Sungkur and Ashley Edens why more Bachelors have appeared on the show than Bachelorettes, and their answer won't make anyone happy.
"There's no rhyme or reason to it. In some seasons it works out and some seasons it doesn't," Edens told THR. "This season we wanted Nick."
Edens and Sungkur didn't address Bristowe and Fleiss's statements directly. When THR suggested the uneven ratio of Bachelors to Bachelorettes is "troubling to viewers," Edens responded that the decisions are "based on when we're casting and the whole cast we're pulling in and what other reality we already have in place."
While the numbers might not have any real "rhyme or reason" behind them, what happens on screen does matter to viewers. And right now, the audience is getting the message that women are being treated differently than men — whether or not that's the case behind the scenes. Hopefully, the backlash will inspire the next season's casting choices — it's time for another Bachelorette to join the DWTS lineup.