(Photo Credits: Yahoo from Sunnyvale, California, USA [CC BY 2.0])
Enraged netizens strike back at Lara Spencer on social media and this is what they have to say about the issue: “Boys can dance, too!”
The “issue” being the debacle that went down on Good Morning America (GMA) during their Pop News segment last week where GMA co-anchor Lara Spencer made insensitive comments about Prince George’s love for ballet. Prince George, by the way, is the six-year-old son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and is said to be the third in line to the British throne.
Spencer related during the segment that Prince George—who will be returning to his private school named St. Thomas’s Battersea in London this autumn—will be taking subjects like “math, science, and history.” These, in addition to subjects like “religious studies, computer programming, poetry, and ballet,” said Spencer. She added, “Prince William said Prince George absolutely loves ballet… I have news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts.”
The response from the dance community and the general public was swift and hashtags like #FireLaraSpencer and #boysdancetoo flooded on social media. Spencer was accused with homophobia and bullying, others called for calm, while some defended her saying that the whole issue has been “blown out of proportion,” but mostly there were words of encouragement for the young prince, as well.
It’s important to see the full story. Everyone is calling for this woman to be dragged, burned, and fired. Watch the WHOLE clip…@LaraSpencer did not have any malice in her statement. This mob cancel culture shit is so often misguided and misplaced. Stop. pic.twitter.com/6euKxfEr72— Monét X Change (@monetxchange) August 25, 2019
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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
Watch the controversial episode below:
This Monday, CNN reported that a number of professional male dancers from the ‘Cher’ Broadway musical had gathered to teach dance class for boys and girls outside Good Morning America’s New York City studio in protest of Spencer’s comments.
In response to @LaraSpencer’s harmful mocking of a young boys (in this case, Prince George) who enjoy taking ballet classes, a group of professional male dancers led a class for boys and girls outside the @GMA studio this morning — a lovely sight to wake up to #BoysDanceToo pic.twitter.com/uqh7qLhNI8— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) August 26, 2019
Spencer, for her part, has since then apologized through her Instagram account and on-air.
Spencer admitted that she “screwed up,” that her comment was “insensitive” and “stupid,” and that she is “deeply sorry.” She added that she spoke with some members of the dance community and she also sat down with male dancers Robbie Fairchild (Cats), Travis Wall (So You Think You Can Dance), and Fabrice Calmels (lead dancer with the Joffrey Ballet) to hear about their stories and painful experiences as young boys who were into dance. Spencer said, “I have listened, I have learned about the bravery it takes for a young boy to pursue a career in dance.”
She concluded the interview by saying that she was thankful for “the opportunity to turn a negative into a teachable moment.”
In the past, Prince William himself had talked to a teen dancer named Junior whose advocacy is to fight against bullying. He told Junior that his son George shared his mother, Princess Diana’s love for dancing. William also told the teen, “If it’s something you love, you do what you love. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Keep at it.”
Meet some of the Teen Heroes who will be recognised this afternoon at the @bbcr1 Teen Awards. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were honoured to meet them earlier this week at Kensington Palace and hear more about their incredible achievements. pic.twitter.com/l29JGxMOLy— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 21, 2018