Ryan McShane has confirmed his departure from Dancing With The Stars in a shock statement shared on social media.
After the Irish Sun reported that the Northern Irish dancer will be replaced on the show’s upcoming season, the 36-year-old said he felt compelled to “speak out”.
In a lengthy statement, Ryan made some shocking claims about his time on DWTS, and alleged he was called into a meeting by production to discuss his “size” back in 2019.
The Lurgan native, who joined the show as professional dancer in 2017, wrote: “I’m saddened to be writing this, but after the recent release of information
regarding my place on DWTS I feel it’s only right to speak out.”
“For the last four years I gave my all to the show and dedicated all of my time and energy to it, but sadly it’s not all the glitter and glamour it’s portrayed to be, at least from my side of the story.”
“I’ve been living under a dark shadow for the last three years which has deeply
affected my mental health and caused what I now see as real damage to my well-being.”
“I used to use my humour to deflect how I felt before someone could bring it up and call me ‘the fat one’.
“To be judged based on my size, and not my ability – from hurtful text messages, whispers on set and being called into a toxic meeting by production to discuss my size in 2019 not meeting their standards, has demoralised me and made me feel like I was worthless,” he alleged.
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“After watching ‘unspoken’ on RTE One recently, I was inspired by the bravery shown by the men to share my own story.”
“Having experienced first hand how I was treated by this industry behind closed doors and the affects it’s had on me, I really hope it will stop it happening to anyone again.”
Ryan continued: “Words have consequences and can hurt, and I hope that the people who have inflicted this damage never speak to their loved ones or children in the way that I’ve been spoken to.”
“And then to find out that after the covid pandemic that has effected everyone and
everything, particularly in the entertainment industry, the show is back but I’m not – after 18 months waiting for the phone call.”
“I feel that in 2021 it is completely morally wrong to view anyone or treat anyone in this way, I wanted to speak up because I’m also a man who is proud of who he is just not the way he looks any more.”
Ryan concluded his statement by writing: “With the new year incoming I want to focus my energy on teaching and sharing my skills with everyone, regardless of size, weight or gender and make sure I never make anyone who wants to dance feel like I’ve been made to.”
“Despite all of this, I want to thank the team of pros who’ve reached out and those on set who were always so kind and professional. To the other four pros that have also lost their jobs, I’m sending love.”
The pro dancer also gave a shout out to Julian Benson, who is being replaced on the judging panel by Arthur Gourounlian next season.
Ryan called him an “inspiration to the nation”, before adding: “I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and let this be a reminder to reach out to those in your life who may be struggling but don’t say it outright.”
Goss.ie has reached out to production company ShinAwil and RTÉ for a comment.