Bristol Palin became one of the most talked about contestants ever on "Dancing with the Stars" when she competed in Season 11 in 2010, and on Friday she created a stir again at the announcement revealing the Season 15 cast.
During a press conference with seven members of the new cast, a journalist brought up the recent headlines her Lifetime show, "Life's A Tripp" prompted, and asked her how she would feel if she was paired with a gay professional ballroom dancer on "Dancing's" upcoming season.
"You know what? I like gays. I'm not a homophobic and I'm so sick of people saying that," the 21-year-old single mom said at the ABC portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills. "Just because I'm for traditional marriage doesn't really mean I'm scared or anything of anyone else and I don't hate anybody.
"People are gonna make up stuff about me no matter what and whatever," she continued. "I'm gonna go dance and I'm gonna have fun and I'm just gonna go have fun on this show. And it's not about politics, it's not about traditional marriage and anything like that. It's just about dancing, and it's gonna be fun, and that's all I have to say about it."
The journalist didn't directly reference any specific headlines about "Life's A Tripp," but recently the show prompted a keen media interest when it appeared Bristol's son, toddler Tripp, used a gay slur, something she denied in a recent blog post. (Click HERE to read Bristol's post.)
Bristol didn't always have the flashiest dances on her "DWTS" season in 2010 (although her gorilla suit dance with then partner Mark Ballas remains memorable), but she managed to make it to third place, behind Kyle Massey and winner Jennifer Grey.
The young mom also spent the season fending off criticism from some fans and critics who thought her scores from the judges were more generous than the points given to others.
Asked why she would want to do the show again, Bristol said she saw it as a great opportunity.
"I just think God provides opportunities like this, and you can either go out and do 'em or not do 'em and I figured the press is going to be talking about me no matter what, so I might as well be having fun," she said.
At one point in the panel, a journalist, while asking a question, suggested reality TV has become the "Palin family business," with her dad, Todd Palin set to appear NBC's fall-due show "Stars Earn Stripes," and her mother's past show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC. Bristol, however, insisted that's not the case.
"I definitely don't think it's our business, I just think that you guys are going to be talking about us either way, and I might as well be doing something enjoyable and fun and with a good group of people and that's why I'm doing it," she said.
"You haven't really gone full Kardashian," "DWTS" co-host Tom Bergeron chimed in.
"No, not at all," Bristol said.
-- Jolie Lash
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