& # 39; Unacceptable and incomprehensible & # 39 ;: Gene Kelly's widow tears GMA host Lara Spencer for mocking Prince George about taking ballet classes
- Patricia Ward Kelly posted an open letter to the host on her Facebook page
- She called GMA to discuss some of Prince George's ballet lessons
- Host Lara Spencer apologized after the show broke out
- Broadway stars fiercely criticized the segment for seeming to mock George
The widow of the famous dancer Gene Kelly has criticized Good Morning America Host Lara Spencer for a segment that seems to mock Prince George for his love of ballet.
Patricia Ward Kelly wrote an open letter on Friday in response to the GMA segment, in which Spencer stopped laughing after he said the six-year ballet classes were taking.
& # 39; In 1958, my deceased husband, the dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, decided to include the stigma facing male dancers in an Omnibus television program for NBC that he made and played in & # 39; Dancing, A Man & # 39; s Game & # 39;, & # 39; Ward Kelly wrote.
& # 39; Gene would be devastated to know that 61 years after his groundbreaking work the issue of dancing boys and men is still the subject of ridicule – and on a national network, & # 39; she continued, & # 39; ABC must do better & # 39 ;.
Patricia Ward Kelly (left with Gene Kelly before his death in 1996) stepped up to defend Prince George (right) after a GMA segment that seemed to mock the young prince for studying ballet
Gene Kelly, seen somewhere around 1950, was a world-famous dancer and film star
Lara Spencer laughed when she said Prince George was studying ballet
Spencer apologized after furiously signing for the segment on Thursday morning.
She revealed that the oldest child of the duke and duchess of Cambridge would study mathematics, science, history, religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet.
After Spencer said ballet, some members of the studio audience laughed, as did the presenter and her fellow host George Stephanopoulos.
& # 39; Oh, he looks so happy about the ballet class, & # 39; said Spencer, when images of George appeared on the screen.
She then claimed that William said his son & # 39; is crazy about ballet & # 39 ;.
& # 39; I have news for you, Prince William: we'll see how long that takes, & # 39; she said. & # 39; I mean, maybe. & # 39;
The response to Spencer's comment was quick.
Actress Rosie O & # 39; Donnell posted a video on her Twitter account and said the comment from Spencer & # 39; ridiculous & # 39; used to be.
& # 39; It's like bullying on national TV.
& # 39; Boys who take ballet are cool, & # 39; she said.
Director and choreographer Debbie Allen, who worked on the 80s TV program Fame, said: & # 39; this is just not cool & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Look at the major contributions to the world, in society. Men who have studied dance (such as) Steve Jobs. Hello. & # 39;
Spencer apologized for her comments on Instagram Friday in a story and message
Choreographer Brian Friedman, who has worked with stars such as Britney Spears and Beyonce, said the presenter should & # 39; be ashamed & # 39 ;.
& # 39; When I was growing up as a dancer, I was terribly bullied and that's exactly what this is, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; She learns the word that it's okay to laugh at boys to dance and that's so sad. Just think of the young boys who might have seen this and could give up their passion at her expense. & # 39;
Spencer later apologized for her & # 39; insensitive comment & # 39 ;.
& # 39; I sincerely apologize for an insensitive comment I made yesterday in pop news, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; From ballet to everything one wants to explore in life, I say: go for it.
& # 39; I fully believe that we must all be free to pursue our passions.
& # 39; Go climb your mountain and enjoy it every minute. & # 39;
Full letter from Patricia Ward Kelly
In 1958 my deceased husband, the dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, decided to include the stigma against male dancers in an Omnibus television program for NBC that he made and played in "Dancing, A Man & # 39; s Game". He hoped that by coordinating the major sports stars of the day – Mickey Mantle, Johnny Unitas, Vic Seixas, Sugar Ray Robinson and others – he could challenge and destroy the shame of male dancers once and for all. For Gene it was more than a professional task. It was, in his words, a personal & # 39; crusade & # 39; to show that dancers are athletes and that it is good for a man to be gracious. As he says in the special: “What could be more graceful than a football player throwing a pass – what could be more exciting than the quick movement of a double play? Every move that a good athlete makes is just as beautiful as any dancer. & # 39;
Unfortunately, on August 22, 2019, Good Morning America chose to organize a shameful part about Prince George and his ballet classes. It is unacceptable and incomprehensible that host Lara Spencer would mock a boy's study of ballet in a nationally broadcast morning show and that her colleagues are participating in her spot.
Gene was a classically trained ballet dancer and believed that his training was essential to everything he did. He was schooled in Chicago by a woman named Berenice Holmes, who had been the student of the great Russian dancer Adolph Bolm. Gene said Holmes could do much more complicated turns than a man, including a double tour and l & air, and instructed him to dance with great force, especially in his arms. He knew that ballet training gave him the long, beautiful line he was looking for in his dance and, later, in his choreography for the camera that led to some of the most important films of our time, including On the Town; An American in Paris; Singing in the rain; Brigadoon.
Over the years, Gene has advised many professional athletes to study ballet, including former wide receivers Willie Gault and Lynn Swann. Both acknowledge that the training has improved their performance in the field. Many have followed the example. Gene would be devastated to know that 61 years after his groundbreaking work the issue of dancing boys and men is still the subject of ridicule – and on a national network.
ABC has to do better.
Patricia Ward Kelly (Mrs. Gene Kelly)
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