Following a massive backlash over her ‘insensitive’ comments about Prince George taking ballet, ‘GMA’ host Lara Spencer apologized for her ‘stupid’ decision to mock the six-year-old royal.
“I screwed up,” Lara Spencer, 50, said on-air during the Aug. 26 edition of Good Morning America, days after she came under fire for mocking Prince George, 6, for including ballet as part of his second-grade curriculum. “The comment I made about dance was insensitive. It was stupid and I am deeply sorry. I have spoken with members of the dance community over the past few days. I have listened. I have learned about the bravery it takes for a young boy to pursue a career in dance.” After Lara’s apology, GMA showed her speaking with a group of high-profile male dancers, including So You Think You Can Dance’s Travis Wall. Ultimately, Lara hoped that she could turn this “negative” into a “teachable moment.”
Lara’s offending comments came during the Aug. 22 edition of GMA while she was going over Prince George’s upcoming school year. “In addition to the usual first- and second-grade things like math, science and history, the future King of England will be putting down the Play-Doh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet, among other things,” she said. Lara seemingly paused (and seemingly encouraging, per TV Line) laughter from the audience. “Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We’ll see how long that lasts. I mean…between the religious studies and the computer programming, [he may] just want to go back to the Play-Doh!”
“Lara I hope you now understand the problems that so many young men have faced as a thoughtless community laughs at them for wanting to dance,” Nigel Lythgoe, creator of So You Think You Can Dance, wrote on Twitter after her comments. “I see so many young men heartbroken because they’ve been thrown out of their homes by their ignorant parents. We are better than that. Those of us with the platform of entering peoples homes have a duty to educate and inform.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 26, 2019
“I was pretty surprised by the tone of some comments towards dance. My initial response was disappointment. For a brief moment it brought up old unpleasant memories of being mocked and laughed at for being a boy who danced,” Dancing With The Stars’ Derek Hough, 34, wrote online. His former co-star, Cheryl Burke, 35, also responded to Lara’s comments. “So happy to hear that Prince William supports his son George’s love of ballet! It’s so important to encourage young boys and girls to explore whatever activities and creative outlets they’re drawn to. I’ve spoken before about how much dance helped and taught me growing up, and I found it disheartening to hear a young boy laughed at.”
Prior to her on-air apology, Lara offered a “mea culpa” on her Instagram. “My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday,” she posted on Aug. 23. “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.”