Good Morning America TV presenter Lara Spencer has issued an apology to six-year-old Prince George after laughing at his passion for ballet during a broadcast.
“We’ll see how long that lasts”
On Good Morning America, the TV host began her segment with: “The future king of England will be putting down the Playdoh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet among other things.”
So far so true.
But then she started snickering, encouraging the program’s audience and co-panellists to laugh along. Which they did.
“Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet, I have news for you Prince William we’ll see how long that lasts,” she told viewers. More laughter. Chortling even.
It’s these sort of attitudes that not only perpetuate gender stereotypes but also dismiss the value of the arts.
The X Factor weighs in
X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman was really angry about this. He took to Instagram to share the segment and give Lara a stern dressing down.
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“See this cute face, the future King of England?” Brian posted. “This adorable boy is being shamed by a grown woman on national television in America for taking ballet!”
Brian noted that he’d suffered at the hands of bullies who made fun of him for dancing and let Lara and the GMA crew know that they were encouraging the “public shaming of young boys.” And perhaps even the abandonment of creative passions.
“She is teaching the world that it is ok to laugh at boys for dancing and that is so sad,” Brian continued.
“Just think about the young boys who may have seen this and could quit their passion at her expense. It infuriates me and I would appreciate everyone sharing this and forcing a public apology to Prince George, The Royal Family, all male dancers and all dancers in general for being so insensitive.”
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🎂 Happy Birthday Prince George! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share new photographs of Prince George to mark His Royal Highness's sixth birthday. This photograph was taken on holiday with the family by The Duchess of Cambridge. Thank you everyone for all your lovely messages!
Gender shaming twit
Lots of people chimed in to support Prince George and agreed with Brian’s comments.
“Thank you for sharing your story and supporting the developing artist in the Prince,” one follower posted.
“If a boy wants to be a dancer, then be, what’s the problem? If a girl wants to be a soccer player, then be, what’s the problem? If was Princess Charlotte doing ballet they would say ‘she’s so cute in her tutu’,” another dance fan pointed out.
“What a shameful, outdated, harmful attitude being broadcast to the masses. Dance has countless scientifically proven benefits for physical and mental health. There are sportsmen who train in dance for the edge it gives them,” someone else commented. “There should be nothing but encouragement for any male who chooses to try dance whether it’s as a fun hobby or for a future as a professional.”
“I have news for you @lara.spencer ,” another Instagrammer posted. “Ballet has a deep royal tradition dating back to the Renaissance and was first codified in the court of King Louis XIV of France. Know your history, get cultured and refrain from being a gender shaming twit on national television.”
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See this cute face, the future King of England? This adorable boy is being shamed by a grown woman on National Television in America for taking ballet! @lara.spencer you should be ashamed of yourself as well as @gstephanopoulos for laughing along & @goodmorningamerica for letting public shaming of young boys happen! Growing up as a dancer I was bullied horribly which is exactly what this is. She is teaching the word that it is ok to laugh at boys for dancing and that is so sad. Just think about the young boys who may have seen this and could quit their passion at her expense. It infuriates me and I would appreciate everyone sharing this and forcing a public apology to Prince George, The Royal Family, all male dancers and all dancers in general for being so insensitive. #LaraSpencer #GeorgeStephanopoulos #GoodMorningAmerica #BoysDance #BoysDanceToo #DontShameMaleDancers
Sorry, not sorry?
Lara responded to the huge backlash against her ridiculous segment … with an apology of sorts after her comments were flooded with anger from dance fans.
“My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday,” she wrote on Instagram in a post with comments turned off.
“From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain -and love every minute of it.”
Or … go put on those tights and point your princely toes!