Dear Lara Spencer,
This morning during my commute, I watched a short clip of you hosting Good Morning America. I’ve always been a big fan of you work (especially Flea Market Flip), so I was deeply saddened to watch you morph from a kind, intelligent presenter to a backyard bully.
Today, you sat on television and mocked Prince George for taking ballet classes. You, a 50-year-old woman with a national platform, thought it was appropriate to laugh at and belittle a 6-year-old boy for joyously exploring an activity for the first time. Shame on you.
As a lifelong male dancer myself, it brought me straight back to junior high school. Flashbacks to years of torment from nasty bullies for performing an activity “suited for girls”. It left a pain in my stomach that hasn’t gone away.
By publicly mocking Prince George on the #1 morning show in America, I believe you have set a dangerous standard that gender stereotypes and defined gender roles are not just appropriate, but worthy of mockery. Your actions will, no doubt, have a lasting impact on young boys across the world who wished to express themselves through the art of dance. And even worse, have an impact on many parents who will no longer consider allowing their sons to give dance a try.
After hearing your segment, I couldn’t help but wonder what decade you thought it was. Are we still trapped in the 1920s? Or the 1950s? Have we not moved away from labelling activities based on the supposed gender of the appropriate participants? Have we not decided as a culture to allow children and adults alike to explore and express themselves as they see fit?
I thought we had, but it’s clear we have more work to do.
I urge you to re-listen to your segment and reevaluate your approach moving forward, especially when dealing with very young children. Your words have a major impact. Your actions have power. Your voice, when used correctly, can make the world a better place.
I hope you apologise to Prince George and young men everywhere who consider themselves dancers. Because dance isn’t a “girls thing”, it’s a human thing.
Male Dancers Everywhere