However Bass' manager Cindy Owen told the New York Daily News in a Wednesday report that ABC "never had the intention" of partnering him with a man. Instead Bass received former So You Think You Can Dance third-season finalist and first-time Dancing with the Starsprofessional Lacey Schwimmer as a partner.
"He's very excited to have Lacey as a partner," Owen told the Daily News.
Dancing with the Stars senior producer Deena Katz added having Bass on the show isn't a gimmick, which is why pairing him with another male was never part of the equation.
"He happens to be gay, but that's not why he's on our show," Katz told the Daily News. "We're not a dating show - although sometimes it ends up that way."
But Chuck Stewart -- who founded Out Dancing Ballroom, a Los Angeles-based same-sex dancing troupe -- feels ABC did miss an opportunity by not partnering Bass with a man.
"Who do I think is afraid? The advertisers," he told the Daily News. "I personally think if you got two hot guys together dancing, people will watch."
GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano still feels Bass' participation "presents a great opportunity for audiences to see gay people included in pop culture in a matter-of-fact kind of way."
"Could it be great to see two gay dancers paired on a show like this? Absolutely!" Giuliano told the Daily News. "We know that there are many competitive gay and lesbian dance pairs out there, and that might be something ABC and other networks' dance shows would want to consider including in the future."
(Photo credit ABC)
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