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Syzygy

"Good Morning America" anchor laughs at boys who do ballet

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Lara Spencer of "Good Morning America" appears to laugh at the idea of six-year-old Prince George taking up ballet during a recent segment.

She said, "In addition to the usual first or 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. Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We'll see how long that lasts."

I believe this was yesterday? I've never seen the show, and it doesn't look like I'll start! Here's a link to a Dance Magazine article with a video. https://www.dancemagazine.com/good-morning-america-ballet-2639983423.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

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Just now, rkoretzky said:

This is just shameful. Sickening really 

Yeah, and the way the whole audience giggles like their in on the joke? Really makes your stomach turn.

She was getting dragged on Instagram and posted this:

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. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it. 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

Yeah, and the way the whole audience giggles like their in on the joke? Really makes your stomach turn.

She was getting dragged on Instagram and posted this:

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. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it. 

It's a decent comment (or, at least, better than I expected), and I can imagine an argument for keeping it short, but I really wish — for the sake of her many followers, not just those she's apologizing to — that she had said more about what she may have learned about why the original remarks were "insensitive" and how, specifically, they caused harm. Many of her followers may just write this off as a necessary gesture to the pc police, without really understanding what was at stake.

Edited by nanushka

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Nanushka, you’re much nicer than me! I didn’t think the apology was decent. I thought she tried to trivialize the whole thing by calling it “pop news” and then, as you mentioned, didn’t explain why her remarks are ignorant. 

Also, a good PR person from GMA wouldn’t ok a watered-down Instagram apology, they’d spin it into a segment where Spencer takes ballet and sees how difficult it is. That way, A. The apology has the same reach as the original comment, and B. They have a new, fun segment that makes Spencer seem likable. Or they can just keep mocking children, I suppose? 

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5 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

Nanushka, you’re much nicer than me! I didn’t think the apology was decent. I thought she tried to trivialize the whole thing by calling it “pop news” and then, as you mentioned, didn’t explain why her remarks are ignorant. 

I did note that she actually wrote, "my sincere apologies" and directly acknowledged that the remark was "insensitive." Better than what's all too common, the "I sincerely apologize if anyone was offended..." etc.

There was a bit of an explanation implied in the 2nd and 3rd sentences.

I am indeed perhaps being overly generous, I admit. I read it with very low expectations.

And yes, the self-dig at "pop news" was 🙄.

Edited by nanushka

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It's not a complete non-apology in the typical "I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt [#sorrynotsorry, snowflake]" boilerplate, but that underwater standard shouldn't obscure the valid criticisms that @Syzygy points out.

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1 minute ago, nanushka said:

I did note that she actually wrote, "my sincere apologies" and directly acknowledged that the remark was "insensitive." Better than what's all too common, the "I sincerely apologize if anyone was offended..." etc.

You're right! It could have been the dreaded "I apologize if you're offended!" Don't get me started...

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2 minutes ago, Helene said:

It's not a complete non-apology in the typical "I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt [#sorrynotsorry, snowflake]" boilerplate, but that underwater standard shouldn't obscure the valid criticisms that @Syzygy points out.

"Underwater standard" made me laugh. That's exactly what it is. 

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4 minutes ago, Helene said:

...but that underwater standard shouldn't obscure the valid criticisms that @Syzygy points out.

No, indeed.

As for this:

12 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

Or they can just keep mocking children, I suppose? 

I think we can count on it.

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Instagram and Facebook are both full of dancers’ posts about this. It’s been all day. Ms. Spencer’s instagram is filled with angry comments, as well.  

Edited by its the mom

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23 minutes ago, Balletwannabe said:

Comments gone on her apology.  Might as well just delete it. 

Many dancers (from their official public accounts) are continuing to post comments on her preceding (unrelated) post anyway, so that gambit didn’t really work.

Edited by nanushka

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23 minutes ago, California said:

I'm glad to see that the bullying issue is emerging, especially in the current political environment -- this was not just about ballet. 

https://pagesix.com/2019/08/23/lara-spencer-apologizes-for-laughing-about-prince-george-taking-ballet/?_ga=2.241248065.2127921789.1566483993-1407670083.1553000903

Even there, though, while Wall is quoted as calling her out, the author himself, in the piece's lede, inserts a completely unnecessary phrase that gives Spencer the benefit of the doubt (or even exonerates her):

Quote

Lara Spencer offered a mea culpa to Prince George after backlash surrounding a seemingly innocent on-air brouhaha at the child’s expense.

"Seemingly innocent"? From what perspective?

Edited by nanushka

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Steven Colbert has done a lot to highlight ballet. He once had Hallberg on to show him some steps. And didn't he have Misty Copeland on? If he's as smart as I think he is, he'll bring on some super-athletic ballet men to his show.

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37 minutes ago, California said:

Steven Colbert has done a lot to highlight ballet. He once had Hallberg on to show him some steps. And didn't he have Misty Copeland on? If he's as smart as I think he is, he'll bring on some super-athletic ballet men to his show.

That was Jimmy Kimmel.

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Her thoughtless comments were offensive on several levels.  She's mocking a child, she's reinforcing antiquated gender roles, she's denigrating the idea of arts education in the schools.  Her apology is weak at best (I saw an early version where she misspelled "mountain" as "maintain.").  This has indeed been the scandal of the day, and I would hope for a more robust response from GMA.  I don't watch breakfast television, but many people do, and this program has done a miserable job with this.

If you would like to speak up about this, you can look at this online petition, or send a message to ABC.

 

Edited by sandik

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58 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Even there, though, while Wall is quoted as calling her out, the author himself, in the piece's lede, inserts a completely unnecessary phrase that gives Spencer the benefit of the doubt (or even exonerates her):

"Seemingly innocent"? From what perspective?

Yikes, that's bad journalism. I guess it's not too surprising, given the publication. 

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Today's Instagram post by SFB:

"In our studios today are more than three dozen male Company dancers, as well as choreographers, teachers, students, musicians—and our director Helgi Tomasson, who had a renowned performing career. These talented artist/athletes have dedicated their lives to ballet, and we’re grateful that they persevered despite challenges raised by outdated gender stereotypes and a lack of understanding of the rigor and professionalism of the art form. We hope Prince George’s love of dance will last a lifetime, despite the opinions of adults like @lara.spencer and we welcome the conversation raised in response to her derision."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1hSFM7j9bu/

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Gia Kourlas weighs in. 

It’s not just Spencer who bullied and disrespected a child and an art form, her  on-air colleagues also laughed away (including George Stephanopoulos) as well as the audience. She needs to issue a proper apology as well as GMA and should spend some time educating herself in the arts and in how to behave like a mature adult.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/arts/dance/lara-spencer-ballet.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

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17 hours ago, California said:

Here's Hallberg on the Steven Colbert show. Trying to find the clip where they try some steps:

Here's Misty Copeland on Colbert, although I vaguely also remember something on Kimmel:

I was especially happy with the Kimmel piece at the time it was aired: not just an interview, but a lengthy sketch at the beginning of the program and other ABT dancers took the stage as well.

 

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