Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer apologized Monday morning for mocking 6-year-old Prince George's ballet lessons after her comments drew fire last week. The 50-year-old followed up her recent social media apology with an on-air explanation during Monday's episode of GMA.
"I screwed up," Spencer told viewers. "The comment I made about dance was stupid and insensitive and I am deeply sorry." She went on to say she has "spoken with members of the dance community" over the weekend. "I have learned about the bravery it takes for a young boy to pursue a career in dance."
After Spencer could be seen in a group interview with several high-profile male dancers, she said she hopes to "turn a negative into a teachable moment."
The apology stems from Thursday's incident in which Spencer was reporting on the young royal's curriculum. "In addition to the usual first- and 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 said, holding for laughter from the audience. "Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We'll see how long that lasts."
Later, after she was slammed as a "bully" on social media, Spencer attempted to explain on Instagram. "My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday," she wrote. "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."
Backlash came swiftly on social media, led by Nigel Lythgoe, the creator of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance. "Lara I hope you now understand the problems that so many young men have faced as a thoughtless community laughs at them for wanting to dance," he wrote. "I see so many young men heartbroken because they’ve been thrown out of their homes by their ignorant parents. We are better than that. Those of us with the platform of entering peoples homes have a duty to educate and inform. Both Dancing With the Stars and my own show SYTYCD have fought the stigma that has been built up over the years by a homophobic, narrow minded society. Neither of my two boys wanted to dance. My 4 year-old grandson, Leo, loves to do 'ballet' with the girls. It makes me smile to see how much he loves it. I hope he’s never made to feel uncomfortable if he wishes to continue into adulthood."
Photo credit: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor / Getty