Derek Hough will not stand for negativity on “Dancing with the Stars.”
During Monday night’s premiere episode, two men wearing white T-shirts that read “Lochte” with giant red Xs through the name rushed onto the stage in an attempt to protest Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s appearance on the show.
Host Tom Bergeron quickly cut to commercial as security tackled the men and escorted them off the stage. During the commercial break, four women wearing similar shirts booed until Hough ran onto the stage and yelled “get them out of here” to the security team.
“This is my home and I was just so shocked that people would come here and be so negative,” Hough told PEOPLE. “This is a safe place for people to learn a new skill and seek redemption or start a new chapter in their life and that’s what Ryan is trying to do and I just felt so defensive that someone would try and ruin that for him and for everyone watching, so I took it upon myself to make sure they were escorted out. I wanted to protect my home.”
Hough can be seen yelling at the other protesters from the stage.
“Get out of here! Come on! Get out! It’s a good show! A positive show!” he yelled at them as they booed and chanted anti-Lochte messages.
After the incident, Lochte looked “shaken up” backstage, and his partner, Cheryl Burke, reportedly cried.
Contestant Jana Kramer described the aftermath of the incident, saying, “Ryan was backstage and close to tears. Everyone makes mistakes and I really hope America gets to see the guy we are all getting to know, which is a really, really nice guy.”
The two men, Sam Sododeh, 59, and Barzeen Soroudi, 25, were detained by security and arrested for trespassing. No one was injured during the protest.