Two men wearing white t-shirts, with the name ‘Lochte’ crossed out, stormed onto the “Dancing With The Stars” stage on the show’s Season 23 premiere on Monday and started yelling at the camera following Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte’s performance. Carrie Ann Inaba, a judge on the show, was seen asking somebody to get off the stage in the footage.
“Hey! Excuse me,” Inaba said as Lochte stood beside his dancing partner, Cheryl Burke. “Back off!”
The anti-Lochte audience members were interrupted by the security guards and escorted out, while host Tom Bergeron took the show to a commercial break. According to Los Angeles police spokesman Mike Lopez, the men were held by the CBS Television city, where the show was being filmed, before being taken into custody on charges of misdemeanour trespassing.
“Nobody was hurt and nobody was touched in the incident,” the USA Today quoted Lopez as saying.
If the men are able to provide proper identification and they have no outstanding warrants they would be released on their own recognizance.
During the commercial break four women, wearing similar t-shirts as the two men, continued to boo until Derek Hough rushed to the stage and yelled at the security to get them out of there.
“This is my home and I was just so shocked that people would come here and be so negative,” Hough was quoted as saying by the People magazine. “This is a safe place for people to learn a new skill and seek redemption or start a new chapter in their life and that’s what Ryan is trying to do and I just felt so defensive that someone would try and ruin that for him and for everyone watching, so I took it upon myself to make sure they were escorted out. I wanted to protect my home.”
Before the show was sent for a commercial break, Lochte could be seen standing alongside Burke appearing uneasy.
“So many feelings are going through my head right now,” he said in an interview on DWTS afterward. “I’m a little hurt. I came out here and wanted to do something I am completely not comfortable with. I came out there with a big smile and have the best fan support here.”
Ryan Lochte’s participation in Dancing With The Stars Season 23 came at a time when he is embroiled in the Rio Olympics scandal in which he was found fabricating details of an alleged robbery in Rio de Janeiro.