- Richard Pohle/ AFP/ Getty Images, Noam Galai, Getty Images
- Dancers and celebrities shared their support for Britain’s Prince George after a “Good Morning America” news anchor mocked him for taking ballet class at school.
- As the school curriculum for Prince William’s eldest son was discussed, host Lara Spencer laughed and said: “We’ll see how long that lasts.”
- Among those to hit back at the news anchor was “Suits” actor Dule Hill, who said that “dance exposed me to this entire world of art.”
- Spencer later apologized for her comments live on air, and issued an official statement on Instagram.
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A news anchor received backlash from professional dancers after she laughed and dismissed the idea of Prince George doing ballet at school.
“Good Morning America” host Lara Spencer kicked off a discussion about the royal’s new curriculum at Thomas’s Battersea, a $23,000-a-year private school where he will start his third year in September.
“In addition to the usual first or second-grade things, like maths, science, and history, the future King of England will be putting down the play dough to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry, and ballet, among other things,” Spencer said on Thursday.
“He looks so happy about the ballet class,” she said, laughing.
“Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts.”
Watch the clip in full below:
Spencer’s comments caused an outpour of responses from the dance community, who shared their thoughts with the hashtag #boysdancetoo on Instagram.
“I hope you apologize to the entire Royal Family and the young boy you shamed,” artist Barbara Zorzato captioned a picture of George dancing outside of Buckingham Palace.
Plenty of famous faces also chimed in. “So You Think You Can Dance” star Mark Kanemura – who has danced alongside the likes of Lady Gaga and Carly Rae Jepsen – posted a video of a young boy taking part in a dance class on Twitter.
“Dear @LaraSpencer and anyone that needs to hear it… BOYS DANCE TOO!” he wrote.
— Mark Kanemura (@mKiK808) August 23, 2019
“Suits” actor Dule Hill also shared his thoughts in a video posted to Instagram.
“I’m not going to get into why someone would use their platform to make fun of young boys learning dance, but I will say this – as a young boy, I went to dance class. I took jazz, I took tap, and I took ballet,” he said.
“And you know what? I loved it. For me, dance has been the journey of a lifetime. It exposed me to this entire world of art.”
He added: “Whether you are a prince named George or a young boy who has dreams of being Lord of the Dance, I say go for it.
“Dare to dream, dare to dance. You might enjoy it. And you know what? Boys dance too.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Debbie Allen also posted a video response on Twitter.
“Darling, you’re not on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ You’re a respected media journalist,” she said.
“We expect to get our news, information, and ideas from you. So poking fun at the dance world, and ballet, and young boys is just not cool.”
Allen, who is best known for playing dance teacher Lydia Grant in the TV series “Fame,” added: “We’d get more Steve Jobs’ if we had more ballet, less bullying.”
— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) August 23, 2019
Meanwhile, “So You Think You Can Dance” producer Nigel Lythgoe shared a photo of his grandson attending ballet class.
— Nigel Lythgoe OBE (@dizzyfeet) August 25, 2019
The mass response probed Spencer to apologize live on air.
“I screwed up, I did,” she said. “The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid, and I am deeply sorry.
“I have spoken with several 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.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 26, 2019
She also released a statement to her official Instagram account, writing:
“My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday.
“From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT,” Spencer added. ” I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it.”
A free ballet class took place at Times Square on Monday in front of the “Good Morning America” studios.
So nice to see responsible adults still exist. So wonderful to see these 300 dancers leading by example in their open air #ballet class this morning in Times Square in front of #GoodMorningAmerica , after the show’s #sexist #bullying against boys who enjoy dance! #BoysDanceToo pic.twitter.com/nW5D0BmNNy
— Coréon Dú (@CoreonDu) August 26, 2019
A reported 300 dancers showed up to share their support for Prince George and other young male dancers.