Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of the late Gene Kelly, penned an open letter on Facebook Friday calling out “Good Morning America” host Lara Spencer after she mocked Prince George for taking ballet lessons.
″‘Good Morning America’ elected to run a disgraceful segment about Prince George and his ballet classes,” Ward Kelly wrote of the TV segment that aired on Thursday.
“That host Lara Spencer would mock a boy’s study of ballet in a nationally televised morning show and that her colleagues would join in her derision is both unacceptable and incomprehensible.”
She added that her late husband “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.”
Spencer came under fire last week for making fun of the 6-year-old royal’s school curriculum at Thomas’s Battersea, where he and his classmates take ballet lessons.
“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,” Spencer told the audience as her co-hosts and the audience laughed.
She added, “Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We’ll see how long that lasts.”
Spencer apologized the next day and worked over the weekend to speak with three professional male dancers for a segment that aired on Monday.
One of the dancers, Travis Wall of “So You Think You Can Dance,” spoke about his conversation with the co-anchor in an Instagram story on Saturday night after he wrote about Spencer’s comments on his Instagram account that week.
“So Lara Spencer just called me on my cell phone, she got my number from Debbie Allen, and she is completely horrified and just truly just issued this massive apology,” Wall said over the weekend, according to People. “I could just hear the horror in her voice.”
He later led a ballet class outside of where “GMA” airs with over 300 dancers in Times Square on Monday. The class was to show that “boys dance too.”
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Spencer later apologized on-air Monday before airing a segment devoted to the male dancers.
“I screwed up. I did,” the “Good Morning America” co-anchor said, staring straight into the camera. “The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid and I am deeply sorry.”
She added, “For me the lesson is that 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 to you and for you guys coming in here to talk to me and to educate me and, again, I’m really sorry.”
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