Jump to content
Syzygy

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

Recommended Posts

I watched the GMA clip yesterday, knowing the outcome in advance.   After the ballet comment the segment was unsalvageable.  She could have made a joke about parents overscheduling their overachiever little darlings.

Share this post


Link to post

When this surfaced at the beginning of the day I was frustrated and offended, but seeing the upswelling of responses from all corners of the dance community I ended the day very happy to be a part of such a wonderful world of artists and enthusiasts.  I'm hoping that the producers at ABC will take up this challenge to educate themselves and their audience -- we'll see what happens.  But whatever the outcome, I'm really pretty proud of the dance world.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, sandik said:

When this surfaced at the beginning of the day I was frustrated and offended, but seeing the upswelling of responses from all corners of the dance community I ended the day very happy to be a part of such a wonderful world of artists and enthusiasts.  I'm hoping that the producers at ABC will take up this challenge to educate themselves and their audience -- we'll see what happens.  But whatever the outcome, I'm really pretty proud of the dance world.

If GMA doesn't do a follow up on: 

1. the rigors of ballet,

2. how hard men in ballet work (from childhood to mature artist)

3. the detrimental effects of bullying,

4. the many benefits of ballet and dance in general,

5. the brilliance of leading male ballet dancers today, (and I could go on)

they will be doing a disservice to all of their viewers and proving that they are mindless "entertainment" and are contributing to the downfall of contemporary society.

I wrote them and plan to keep writing. Ms. Spencer's four sentence apology was total bs (though not as bad as the non-apology it might have been). I don't think her "pop news" comment was meant to be self-deprecating, "Pop News" is the name of the segment with the Prince George back-to-school story.

Perhaps I'm a bit hot under the collar but I, too, am proud of the dance community and their/our response. The IG posts were positively inspiring.

What was that woman thinking?

Edited by BalanchineFan
pop news info

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I don't think her "pop news" comment was meant to be self-deprecating, "Pop News" is the name of the segment with the Prince George back-to-school story.

Perhaps I'm a bit hot under the collar but I, too, am proud of the dance community and their/our response. The IG posts were positively inspiring.

What was that woman thinking?

Ah, thanks for the clarification! Not a regular GMA watcher here.

I agree with almost everything you write...but as for "the downfall of contemporary society" — well really, many of these issues are as old as modern culture, if not older. If contemporary society is falling down, I don't think it's because of incidents like this one.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Nanuska, for "the downfall of contemporary society" I meant magazine morning shows in general, not Lara Spencer in particular. There is an argument (made by many others, not just me) that news should be rigorous and serious, rather than the "light, chirpy, fluffy" segments morning shows tend to favor. 

"Will the network continue to do the tough, serious, rigorous broadcast journalism that brought it to the eminence it has long enjoyed, or will it cave in to pressures from network management for news programming that is light, bright and chirpy, and thus more attractive to advertisers and Nielsen families?" Tom Shales referring to CBS in Washington Post, 1984.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Balletwannabe said:

Travis Wall's IG story has an update.

I’m paraphrasing his Instagram story for those without accounts: Lara Spencer called him to apologize, many ballet/broadway dancers plan to take class outside of GMA next week, she apparently sounded very sorry. 

Hmmm…

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

Hi Nanuska, for "the downfall of contemporary society" I meant magazine morning shows in general, not Lara Spencer in particular. There is an argument (made by many others, not just me) that news should be rigorous and serious, rather than the "light, chirpy, fluffy" segments morning shows tend to favor. 

"Will the network continue to do the tough, serious, rigorous broadcast journalism that brought it to the eminence it has long enjoyed, or will it cave in to pressures from network management for news programming that is light, bright and chirpy, and thus more attractive to advertisers and Nielsen families?" Tom Shales referring to CBS in Washington Post, 1984.

The morning shows are geared toward the stay-at-home audience  - they  cover news (in fact, the CBS morning show tends to the newsier side, or at least it did until recently) but they are intentionally geared toward lighter entertainment. They do tend to err on the cheery side - cf. Onion TV's "Today Now!" parodies.

 

Quote

she apparently sounded very sorry. 

I'll bet she is. 

Share this post


Link to post
54 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

I’m paraphrasing his Instagram story for those without accounts: Lara Spencer called him to apologize, many ballet/broadway dancers plan to take class outside of GMA next week, she apparently sounded very sorry. 

Hmmm…

LOL - well no publicity is bad publicity, right?
"500,000 ballet dancers gathered at Times Square New York to take class, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock…"

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

they will be doing a disservice to all of their viewers and proving that they are mindless "entertainment" and are contributing to the downfall of contemporary society.

I spend a considerable chunk of time in my friendships with non-Americans trying to explain that the entire U.S. isn't as ignorant and uncultured as they've been led to believe. But then this — and to a beyond high-profile person! "The downfall of contemporary society" is a big claim, but I see where you're coming from. Or more accurately, I'm selfishly not looking forward to hearing the "dumb American" jokes surrounding this one at the next dinner party. 

Share this post


Link to post

I just watched the segment on Good Morning America (a show I ordinarily never watch). The interview was okay, but I was disappointed that the only clip they showed was Gene Kelly in Dancing in the Rain. Stephanopolous mentioned the class in Time Square, but they didn't show anything. If you follow Wall on Instagram he has lots of good clips showing the class. Nice that Robbie Fairchild participated in the interview and the class, as he might be a little better known than others, because of his work on Broadway.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, California said:

I just watched the segment on Good Morning America (a show I ordinarily never watch). The interview was okay, but I was disappointed that the only clip they showed was Gene Kelly in Dancing in the Rain. Stephanopolous mentioned the class in Time Square, but they didn't show anything. If you follow Wall on Instagram he has lots of good clips showing the class. Nice that Robbie Fairchild participated in the interview and the class, as he might be a little better known than others, because of his work on Broadway.

I particularly wish that the segment (which I believe I saw in full, though it's possible the platform on which I viewed it didn't include the whole thing) had focused not only on dance but also on what is to me the broader and even more important issue: the fact that every child should be able to pursue his or her passions, whatever they may be, and should not be pressured to conform to expectations set by parents, community, school, peers, culture, gender norms, etc. I think the piece could have more fully addressed what it means for all of those other voices to tell a child that his or her pursuits are not the right or best or worthiest. To me, this is not just or even primarily about dance.

I thought Gillian Murphy addressed this beautifully in her recent IG post:

 

No parent, in my opinion, should raise a child in the hopes that he or she becomes any particular thing. Children need to be nurtured to become themselves.

Gia Kourlas, by the way, in her first Times piece (I see she has a second one up now, post-apology, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet), denigrated the use of the word passions in what I thought was a rather bizarre way:

Quote

The point is that many children aren’t free to pursue, as Ms. Spencer wrote, their “passions,” an overused word that makes it seem as if the study of dance were a flight of fancy — akin to making unicorns out of rainbows.

Sure, passions may be an overused word, but in what idiom is it synonymous with flights of fancy? I think there were more than enough other things to substantively criticize Spencer for than her use of that word.

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Sure, passions may be an overused word, but in what idiom is it synonymous with flights of fancy?

In 1984-land.

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, pherank said:

LOL - well no publicity is bad publicity, right?
"500,000 ballet dancers gathered at Times Square New York to take class, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock…"

It's a great help that Good Morning America is based in New York, isn't it? :)

As for the childrearing aspect, these are all first world problems. In many other places people are just happy to raise their kids to healthy adulthood, never mind “pursuing their passions" or whatever. As long as the kid doesn’t grow up to say things like “impactful” you did fine.

 Young Stiefel junior is cute as a button!

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, dirac said:

As for the childrearing aspect, these are all first world problems.

No, I really don't think they are. Why on earth should we not do what we can to make life better for all children — to minimize the psychological pain and damage (which, no, is not an overstatement) that a child can experience when he or she is held to unnecessary external norms of identity and being? That’s probably universal, in fact.

Pointing to the fact that others in the world suffer in more obvious and extreme ways seems to me a very unfortunate shirking of that responsibility. At the very least, I would hope that others' work not be brushed aside.

And, frankly, why shouldn’t even things that are only “first-world problems” still be addressed? Heaven knows we all experience a lot of suffering that we could work to minimize — and we should do what we can to recognize and minimize the suffering of others, even if they are only our fellow "first-world" dwellers.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, California said:

I just watched the segment on Good Morning America (a show I ordinarily never watch). The interview was okay, but I was disappointed that the only clip they showed was Gene Kelly in Dancing in the Rain. Stephanopolous mentioned the class in Time Square, but they didn't show anything. If you follow Wall on Instagram he has lots of good clips showing the class. Nice that Robbie Fairchild participated in the interview and the class, as he might be a little better known than others, because of his work on Broadway.

 
 

 

I'm not a parent, but I have to admit that I'm fretting about all these lovely young people leaping about on a hard, paved surface in the functional equivalent of bare feet. I think I got shin splints just looking at this post.

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I'm not a parent, but I have to admit that I'm fretting about all these lovely young people leaping about on a hard, paved surface in the functional equivalent of bare feet. I think I got shin splints just looking at this post.

So I wasn’t the only one grimacing, then!

At least most of them were wearing sneakers. But, still.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, nanushka said:

And, frankly, why shouldn’t even things that are only “first-world problems” still be addressed? Heaven knows we all experience a lot of suffering that we could work to minimize — and we should do what we can to recognize and minimize the suffering of others, even if they are only our fellow "first-world" dwellers.

I'm afraid I've become sensitized to "1st World Problems" as well.  ;)
But it seems to be human nature to look for increasingly nuanced complaints for every little thing and every possible situation. I just had yet another argument with my relative who likes the idea of mixing two types of rice together to add 'interest to the organic brown rice. But, adding a small amount of Hinode Black Rice turns all the rice a purple color which really bothers her. It tastes good, its nutritious, but its a purple color, so it's worth whining that maybe that's not the best solution (even though everyone likes the taste and texture). "But the rice is purple! Look how dark it is!" I've lived through this same reaction 5 times now, because the problem doesn't go away until the Hinode rice gets used up (at least the food is being eaten and not simply thrown away). But what an imposition to have to eat purple-colored rice, again!

Live on a 7 bedroom estate in the Virgin Islands with 8.5 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor living spaces, billiards room, home theater and separate caretaker’s residence, and, a 360-degree views of bays and islands? "Do you realize what a pain it is to maintain this estate and deal with all the hired help?!"

One interesting/positive thing that has come out of this GMA blowup - there have been many, many posts by dancers, male and female, talking about their own early experiences tying to be accepted as ballet dancers, or just dancers. We now get to hear from a very wide-range of dancers on their backgrounds.

By the way, I really recommend the Hinode Black Rice.

Share this post


Link to post

I was wondering if Baryshnikov would chime in on this issue. This just appeared on Instagram:

 

Share this post


Link to post

Very nice statement from Baryshnikov.

Re the dancers on pavement - I also had some thoughts of 😲.  That said, I think they did make a significant statement and I was moved by all the dancers who came at such an early hour, demonstrated such skill and determination/dedication.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/23/2019 at 6:09 PM, California said:

Here's Copeland on Kimmel:

 

Agh. I HATED that segment. The old tiring mockery of ballet. Same thing...guys in tutu looking ridiculous etc etc..

Watching Tchaikovsky's beautiful score paired with "that" was just tragic 

Share this post


Link to post

It was good enough for Gediminas Taranda:

 

Share this post


Link to post

I guess it's just a matter of opinion.  I don't think adding comedy to ballet necessarily = mockery.  This is one of my fav's:

 

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, Helene said:

Thanks, Helene. Very nice letter.

Quote

“In 1958, my late husband, the dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, decided to take on the stigma facing male dancers in an Omnibus television program for NBC that he created and starred in called Dancing, A Man’s Game,” wrote Ward Kelly. “Gene would be devastated to know that 61 years after his ground-breaking work, the issue of boys and men dancing is still the subject of ridicule—and on a national network.” She concluded: “ABC must do better.”

Kelly actually quit dancing for a while as a kid because the hazing was so brutal, and Gene was no shrinking violet.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...