Four days after “Good Morning America’s” Lara Spencer apologized for “insensitive” comments mocking Prince George for taking a ballet class, the host sat down with three prominent male ballet dancers.
“I screwed up,” Spencer, 50, began introducing the pre-recorded segment Monday morning. “The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid and I’m sorry.”
Spencer thanked those who called her out and helped educate her on the “bravery it takes for a boy to pursue dance.” The three dancers thanked Spencer for being honest and open about the controversy.
“Boys just drop because of the social stigma,” Joffrey Ballet of Chicago dancer Fabrice Calmels told Spencer. “Children should be entitled to experience things without being bullied.”
“So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Travis Wall added he’s “so proud” that his show has inspired young boys to take up dancing.
“I want more boys to dance,” he said. “We make such beautiful art and we make such beautiful moments in the world... avoid the noise and use the inspiration. It always gets better. Boys dancing is the coolest. We’re awesome.”
Robbie Fairchild, a former New York City ballet dancer about to make his big-screen debut in “Cats,” noted how important representation is for male dancers.
“Mine was Gene Kelly. I wouldn’t be where I am without ‘Singing in the Rain,’” Fairchild said, recalling watching the iconic performer and thinking, “he’s doing what I’m doing and he’s so cool.”
“Some little boy is going to watch ‘Cats’ and hopefully have (the same) moment,” Spencer replied.
Spencer addressed the three dancers as well as viewers: ”I think it’s important (for me) to take this as a lesson that there are things I don’t understand. Words hurt and it was not my intention, but it was insensitive and I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to apologize personally. Again, I’m really sorry.”
Calmels, Wall and Fairchild all forgave her.
The controversy began last week when Spencer brought up Prince George’s back-to-school plans on the morning talk show in a clip published Thursday.
“Details of George’s curriculum have been released, making us all really happy we don’t have to do homework anymore,” 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.”
The clip then cuts to images of the 6-year-old, but laughter can be heard from the “GMA” set.
“Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts,” Spencer added, before letting out a chuckle.
Viewers and celebrities took to Twitter to accuse Spencer of shaming the child for his passion, sparking the host to apologize a day later in a since-expired Instagram story.
“My deepest apologies for an insensitive comment I made during pop news on Thursday,” she wrote. “From ballet, which I took as a kid, to anything in life you wish to explore, I fully believe we should all pursue our passion. Go climb your mountain — and love every minute of it.”
Contributing: Charles Trepany. Read more at usatoday.com.