Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba might not have thought fellow judge Bruno Tonioli was being rude when he referred to recently-voted-off contestant Chaz Bono as a "penguin," but Bono's mom Cher certainly does. Bono, 42, was on Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show Anderson to chat about DWTS when Cooper called up Chaz's 65-year-old pop star mother to hear her thoughts about her son's treatment.
"I just thought (the judges) were rude," Cher says in the interview, which is set to air Tuesday. "And it was gratuitous rudeness, and I was just pissed off. I was just really upset. Not that Chaz was voted off, but that they were so disrespectful."
Bono says he received the unwanted attention because he was one of DWTS's few overweight male contestants, and found the judges' comments referring to him as an "Ewok" and "basketball" uncalled for. But Bono is also the show's first transgender contestant, something that Cher says some people might have had a hard time accepting.
"There are some people that are never going to be able to move out of their comfort zone," she says. "But I think that when people could see Chaz and see what a wonderful person he is, and kind and funny and all that, then maybe they could just relax off of what their preconceptions are."
Cher admits that it wasn't easy for her to deal with Bono's decision to transition from a female to male, but it didn't take her long to realize Chaz was still the same child she'd raised.
"As a mom, you have a child, and then all of a sudden you have a different child. But you have the same child," she explains. "And so, it's very hard to kind of twist your mind around to the adjustment. But then, when you look at it and you're around your child, you just think, no difference. Same child, different wrapping."