'Give Chaz Bono chance to dance'
Dancing With the Stars executive producer Conrad Green has said despite controversy over the casting of its first transgender contestant, the celebrity US dance contest remains a family show and viewers should check out the new season before passing judgment.
Chaz Bono, who was born female but underwent surgery to become a man, is among the cast of 12 celebrities set to appear on the ABC hit when it launches later this month.
Some Dancing fans and conservative media groups have criticised his inclusion on the programme.
Online group OneMillionMoms.com says the casting of Chaz and openly gay contestant Carson Kressley "is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses".
Meanwhile, Cher and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have defended Chaz, the network and Dancing producers for casting him.