LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "Dancing With the Stars" executive producer Conrad Green says despite controversy over the casting of its first transgender contestant, "Dancing" remains a family show and viewers should check out the new season before passing judgment.
Chaz Bono, who was born female but underwent surgery to become a man, is among the cast of 12 celebrities set to appear on the ABC hit when it premieres later this month.
Some "Dancing" fans and conservative media groups have criticized his inclusion on the program. Online group OneMillionMoms.com says the casting of Bono and openly gay contestant Carson Kressley "is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses!"
Meanwhile, Cher and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have defended Bono, the network and "Dancing" producers for casting him.