Maybe Lara Spencer has not seen "Billy Elliot".
It was disturbing that Ms. Spencer, a presenter of "Good Morning America" at ABC, openly laughed at the news that a 6-year-old boy had chosen to study ballet. When she listed Prince George's syllabus on Thursday morning, she clicked Religious Studies, Computer Programming, Poetry and Ballet.
She said: " BAH -lay." She continued. "Prince William says George loves ballet absolutely," she said, looking confused as she stifled laughter. "I have news for you, Prince William. We will see how long that will take.
Perhaps the saddest part of the segment, as it was evident, was that Mrs. Spencer did not think she had done anything inappropriate by embarrassing a boy, or to maintain a tired, homophobic stereotype: this ballet is not a suitable profession for men.
The online response of the ballet world has been swift and fierce, from institutions such as the Vail Dance Festival and the San Francisco Ballet, and especially dancers, including stars Robbie Fairchild, Ashley Bouder and James Whiteside.
wife. Spencer's response to the turmoil on Instagram has not helped.
"I sincerely apologize for an insensitive comment I made yesterday in the pop news. From ballet to everything you want to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I firmly believe that we should all be free to pursue our passions. Climb up the mountain – and love every minute of it. "
The attached photo – a field of wildflowers with mountains in the distance – made it seem more like a stupid greeting card than a sincere apology. Dancer Barton Cowperthwaite said in a commentary: "Nobody wants to see a moving picture from the depths of your photo library. We want you to apologize in the air as you drag a child and a whole art form through the mud. "Ms. Spencer has since removed all comments.
On his Instagram, British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon wrote that he met Prince George's parents and that he was not "surprised they enrolled him in ballet classes." Mr. Wheeldon continued, "Growing up as a boy in ballet lessons was not easy, I mean talking about perfect food for bullying! It was painful, but it was worth every second. "
Calvin Royal III of the American Ballet Theater turned to younger dancers:" Bullying and mockery are NOT OK, and we're there to help. I know that laughter and judgment will always be in the dark, whether you want to become a ballet dancer, attend a dance class, see a performance, or do something out of the norm.
There were also reactions from outside the dance world: The Actor George Takei said on Twitter, "It shows that 'virulent masculinity' can also be viciously spread by insensitive women . "
Prince George will survive the bullying. He is white, well-to-do, privileged and supported by enlightened parents. But what about the guys who want to dance but are scared? Or who dances, but hides it from strangers and even from their friends?
The point is that many children are not free to pursue, as Spencer wrote, their "passions" – an overused word that makes it appear that the study of dance is an escape of the imagination – related unicorns make from rainbow.
Woman. Spencer works in New York. Maybe she should spend some time in the New York Ballet audience, which opens its fall season in September, and at the American Ballet Theater, which will follow in October. And it would not hurt to apologize to any male ballet dancer and student on "Good Morning America" that ABC can round off by Monday morning. The way to correct this is to show the world how wrong it was.
In the meantime, a hashtag was born: # ballet4boys. Use it.