US presenter accused of 'bullying' Prince George for liking ballet

Staff writer
Prince George first day at school

Not everyone is happy with US presenter Lara Spencer.

On Thursday's episode of Good Morning America, Spencer presented a minute-long segment detailing Prince George's "demanding" school curriculum for the upcoming school year, and it's her reaction to the fact the the six-year-old British royal will continue to pursue his interest in ballet that is getting backlash online.

"In addition to the usual first or second grade things, like maths, 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," she said, pausing as she, her co-anchors and the live studio audience all burst into laughter.

"He looks so happy about the ballet class!" she said sarcastically as a smiling photo of George flashed onto the screen.

【ギャラリー】Royals celebrate Prince George's 6th birthday3

"Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet," she added. "I have news for you, Prince William: We'll see how long that lasts."

As Dance Magazine pointed out, what "could have been a joke about the young prince tackling subjects that seem way above grade level" seemingly turned into a joke "patronising" the pint-sized royal for wanting to take a dance class.

"How, in the year 2019, is this considered even remotely acceptable?" the outlet posited, accusing Spencer of "bullying a 6-year-old child. On national television. To laughter and applause."

Many others also criticised Spencer for the "despicable" segment: "There's nothing funny about a boy who dances. These athletes are strong and brave," one person tweeted. "Disappointed that this is exactly what happened on @GMA and [Lara Spencer] who shamed and laughed at Prince George for taking ballet. Time for a change."

"I was so disappointed to see the @GMA hosts making fun of Prince George for taking and enjoying ballet classes," another person wrote. "These gender stereotypes -- prescriptions for how we should behave -- limit girls and boys... and society more broadly."

【ギャラリー】George and Charlotte make a surprise appearance at King's Cup22

Famed choreographer Brian Friedman took to Instagram to sound off on Spencer's actions, too, writing a lengthy post condemning her for laughing at George.

"See this cute face, the future King of England? This adorable boy is being shamed by a grown woman on national television in America for taking ballet! @lara.spencer you should be ashamed of yourself as well as @gstephanopoulos for laughing along & @goodmorningamerica for letting public shaming of young boys happen!"

Friedman said. "Growing up as a dancer I was bullied horribly which is exactly what this is. She is teaching the word that it is ok to laugh at boys for dancing and that is so sad. Just think about the young boys who may have seen this and could quit their passion at her expense. It infuriates me and I would appreciate everyone sharing this and forcing a public apology to Prince George, The Royal Family, all male dancers and all dancers in general for being so insensitive."

Neither Good Morning America nor Lara Spencer have responded to the controversy. Watch the segment in question at the top of the page.

【ギャラリー】Royals in Africa24