TV series rarely make it to 21 seasons, and even when they do, it rarely ends up becoming one of the most exciting seasons. But that’s exactly what’s happening on Dancing with the Stars, which has hit both highs and lows in the past few months. The strangest and arguably most controversial incident is currently happening, but it’s going on behind the scenes instead of on the air, as it sounds like ABC is saying no to having two men dancing together on an upcoming episode. This is 2015, right?

The November 23 episode will feature a performance by the openly gay musician Who Is Fancy (real name Jake Hagood), and he’ll be performing his new song “Boys Like You,” which is perhaps unsurprisingly a song about a guy falling for another guy. According to TMZ, Who Is Fancy’s choreographer emailed the Dancing with the Stars’ producers to suggest that this performance would be a great time for two men to dance together on the show. It would certainly make sense, given the subject matter, but here’s how ABC allegedly responded.
Apologies all but this is a definitive no from the network.

Nothing harsh about that, except for the entire message. Over on American Horror Story: Hotel this week, men are getting freaky and falling in love, but ABC can’t even let two of them go through a dance number together. I realize that’s a pretty terrible comparison, since FX allows AHS to get away with just about everything under the sun, but there’s no slippery slope for ABC apparently.

What did the network actually agree to? The execs are apparently fine with men “near dancing” during a performance, but I guess they draw the line at a lot of skin-to-skin contact. I picture George Sr.’s prison guard from Arrested Development saying “no touching” over and over as the men practice together. Can you imagine how many eyeballs would explode if Who Is Fancy tried to get two males to do the Dirty Dancing dance that Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough did previously?

Below you’ll see what is probably the extent of what ABC is comfortable showing, as it contains a portion of this week’s routine between Alek Skarlatos and Carlos PenaVega.



TMZ got no direct comment from ABC, but their sources say that conversations are still happening about this number, so perhaps we’ll actually get to see it. Find out on Monday, November 23.

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