MediaWorks is under fire with revelations that controversial Destiny Church pastor Hannah Tamaki is set to compete on Dancing With The Stars New Zealand this year.
Spy revealed today that Tamaki, wife of Brian Tamaki, will compete on the show alongside transgender personality Mary Haddock-Staniland.
A source close to Tamaki confirmed she is to compete but she did not respond to Spy's request for comment. MediaWorks also declined to comment on any confirmed dancers.
Social media users have been left angry and upset.
I really hope the news is incorrect that @ThreeNewZealand would get Hannah Tāmaki on #DWTSNZ - She spouts racist, homophobic, nasty hateful rhetoric. Also broken up many families.— Richard Hills (@richardhills777) February 22, 2020
Normalising or mainstreaming this hate is not a good move. In fact it’s a dangerous one. @DWTSnz
"Casting Hannah Tamaki isn't an edgy take, it's a smack in the face to some of our most vulnerable communities," a Twitter user wrote.
"So ridiculous. I definitely won't be watching this garbage," another said.
Commenters on the NZ Herald Facebook page say they won't be tuning in if she is a dancer.
"It's a stunt and no I won't watch her," one person said.
"Would expect her to be first eliminated. Definitely gone off the show now."
Another wrote: "Love this show, but if she's in then I'm out."
A user also accused the show of "scraping the bottom of the barrel" to find contestants to compete on the reality show.
Casting Hannah Tamaki isn’t an edgy take, it’s a smack in the face to some of our most vulnerable communities WTF mediaworks. Please don’t go through with this. I love #DWTSNZ and there are plenty of fun D list celebs to choose from 👍🏼 https://t.co/qP1kZkXJvB— Miriam Moore (@miriammooretoo) February 22, 2020
Tamaki and her husband have previously been outspoken about their negative views of the LGBTQ+ community - in 2015 he claimed "gay power" was taking over the world and that a whole generation of children will be bisexual because the "perversion of homosexuality is leading the charge".
Hannah Tamaki announced in November that her political party Vision NZ would ban "new mosques, temples, and other foreign buildings of worship" if elected.
In June last year Brian Tamaki offered up an apology to the rainbow community.
The New Zealand format of the reality show has had eight seasons. Contestants range from television personalities and actors to sports stars and politicians. They are paired up with skilled ballroom dancers and compete for charity.
Earlier this month, Three revealed the new season will be judged by comedian Laura Daniel and returning head judge Camilla Sacre-Dallerup and Julz Tocker. Daniels scored second place in the last season with her dance partner Shae Mountain.
The show's 2019 winners were Manu Vatuvei and Loryn Reynolds.