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Simone Biles lauded for her powerful response to sexist remark on 'Dancing with the Stars'

"I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments—you didn't," the judge told her during Dancing with the Stars in 2017.

Simone Biles lauded for her powerful response to sexist remark on 'Dancing with the Stars'
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez (R) Getty Images | Photo by Tim Clayton | Corbis

Olympic athlete Simone Biles is an icon in every right. So when she was asked why she didn't smile at the compliments the judges gave her during her time at 'Dancing with the Stars,' she had the perfect reply. Even Tom Bergeron, who delivered that line, regrets it now. "I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments—you didn't," he said at the time according to Mashable. Fortunately, the gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medalist had the perfect response right off the cuff: "Smiling doesn't give you gold medals."



 

Bergeron quickly realized he made a terrible mistake. Biles was a contestant on the show alongside professional dancer Sasha Farber. Recalling the incident, the 68-year-old admitted it was one of the “rare times when I spoke before I thought” on an episode of Cheryl Burkes’s Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast, per The Independent. Biles didn't hide her frustration after receiving mostly negative feedback from the judges. While fellow judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman were giving Biles “harsh” feedback, judge Carrie Ann Inaba was “very complimentary”. So a producer through Bergeron's earpiece said, “Wow, she’s not even smiling at Carrie Ann’s compliments.”


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles)


 

“So instead of saying, ‘Simone, what’s your reaction to the judges’ comments? Now, Carrie Ann was complimentary and the other two less so.’ Instead of saying that, I had that last thought from [the producer] in my head and I went, ‘I noticed you didn’t smile,’” explained the former "America’s Funniest Home Videos" host. “Now, what woman wants to hear a guy say, ‘Hey, sweetheart, smile!’" he said, “The moment it came out of my mouth, I thought, ‘Oh, you [idiot].’



 

In fact, the former host appreciated Biles' response and that he was "so properly put in my place." What's more, is that Biles turned her viral clap back into a t-shirt. “I stood next to her looking very sheepish while she wore that wonderful shirt and we put that on social media and everything. But that was one time when I wished I had taken a beat, translated what I heard in my ear and put it in my own words,” he said.

Image Source: American television personality Tom Bergeron visits SiriusXM Studios on August 21, 2019 in New York City. (Getty Images | Photo by Roy Rochlin)
Image Source: American television personality Tom Bergeron visits SiriusXM Studios on August 21, 2019, in New York City. (Getty Images | Photo by Roy Rochlin)

This isn't the first time Biles hit back at snide comments. When she heard about a young Black gymnast who was ignored while giving medals during a gymnastics ceremony in Dublin, she couldn't stay quiet. According to PEOPLE, the incident occurred at a GymStart event in March 2022, when a line of children was awarded medals. As the official walked down the line, every other child received a medal except the Black girl. “There is no room for racism in any sport or at all," Biles wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response to the viral video.



 

According to The Irish Independent Biles reached out to the girl's family and even sent her a video. She began by saying, "I wanted to let you know that I saw how you were treated at your GymStart event recently. I was completely shocked and wanted to let you know that you deserve a medal just like all of the other girls." She continued, "I know you've worked incredibly hard at the sport and I wanted to say I am rooting for you from here. Sending you my very best and know that there are so many of us here to support you."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles)


 

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