Ryan Lochte's debut on "Dancing With the Stars" (DWTS) Season 23 was marred by protests Monday after two men tried to storm the stage during his appearance. The two Los Angeles men have been arrested, and police said that the incident was "pre-planned."
Monday night's premiere of the ABC reality competition series saw several men and women wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts. The two men, identified as Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, rushed to the stage after Lochte's and Cheryl Burke's performance.
"Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and escorted out of the building," a representative from BBC Worldwide Productions, producer of DWTS, told the Hollywood Reporter. "The matter is now being handled by the authorities."
Through his appearance at DWTS, Lochte is trying to return to public life after receiving a 10-month suspension from swimming by the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming over his drunken incident in Brazil during the Rio Olympics 2016.
Lochte and three other swimmers had claimed that they had been robbed at gunpoint when they stopped at a gas station in Rio. However, it was later revealed that they had vandalized the station after drinking at a bar, and then paid money toward the damage they caused. Following the fabricated story, Lochte and the other swimmers were indicted by Rio civil police for falsely reporting a crime.
Following the DWTS protest, the 32-year-old reportedly said that he “felt a little hurt” after the incident. “So many feelings are going through my head right now ... but I came out here. I wanted to do something I’m completely not comfortable with, and I did.”
Meanwhile, the reality show's judge Carrie Ann Inaba responded to Lochte's DWTS incident on her Instagram account.
Below is the video of the incident.