Portia de Rossi Reportedly Turns Down 'Dancing With the Stars'
by PopEater Staff, posted Dec 7th 2010 3:30PM
'Dancing With the Stars' may not be looking to feature a same-sex couple in season 11 next spring after one big star -- actress Portia de Rossi, wife of Ellen DeGeneres -- reportedly declined to be the show's guinea pig
According to PopEater's Rob Shuter, because 'Arrested Development' star de Rossi (who goes by Portia DeGeneres now) rejected the offer, the megahit reality series will wait on breaking the same-sex dancing barrier.
"If Portia had agreed then this would have been a done deal," an ABC insider told Shuter. "She was the only star that could have pulled this off without completely offending the program's conservative viewers."
The Israeli version of 'Dancing With the Stars' garnered worldwide publicity for casting a same-sex dancing pair.
The show has a soft spot for stunt casting -- Kate Gosselin, Florence Henderson, Bristol Palin, anyone? -- but isn't yet ready to invite on a same-sex couple. The last time a contestant did anything remotely gay -- Margaret Cho's rainbow dress -- she was promptly dumped by viewers.
"With all the debate going on about Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the country, this would have been the perfect time to do this," one Hollywood casting director told Shuter. "Yet, the show has never been about pushing the envelope. It's a huge hit because it doesn't make anyone uncomfortable."
Shuter's sources said the backlash felt over Palin's surprising tenure on the show caught producers by surprise and they're looking to avoid conflict for a while.
"After Bristol, I predict it will be the most boring bunch of stars ever cast next season," the casting director says. "When you have a hit as big as this on your hands, everyone is scared to mess it up."