Good Morning America host Lara Spencer apologized live on air on Monday following the backlash against her comments mocking Prince George for taking ballet lessons.
The TV host told viewers she had ‘screwed up’, calling her reaction to the young royal’s new school curriculum ‘insensitive’ and ‘stupid’.
Spencer, who laughed and stifled giggles while talking about the youngster’s dance classes on Thursday, then tried to make further amends by interviewing three male performers, including one from the cast of Cats.
Ahead of the segment Spencer said: ‘I screwed up. I did. The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid and I am deeply sorry.
‘I’ve spoken with several members of the dance community over the past few days, I have listened, I have learned about the bravery it takes for a young boy to pursue a career in dance and last night I sat down with three influential dancers who have lived it firsthand.’
She then spoke with three male dancers, Fabrice Calmels, Robbie Fairchild, and Travis Wall, in a prerecorded segment.
The professional dancers then held a ballet class outside the GMA studio on Monday morning.
Pictures of the event posted online show hundreds of people dancing in Times Square.
Good Morning America Host Lara Spencer apologized live on air on Monday, pictured, after the backlash against her comments mocking Prince George for taking ballet lessons
Lara, far right, then tried to make further amends by interviewing the three male performers, Fabrice Calmels, Robbie Fairchild and Travis Wall, pictured left to right
The professional dancers then held a ballet class outside the GMA studio on Monday morning
They told Spencer they ‘wish people would be open-minded and understand what others are doing’, adding: ‘More empathy would be lovely.’
So You Think You Can Dance‘s Travis Wall said: ‘Children should be entitled to experience things without being bullied. Just let people follow their dream, whether it’s dance, whatever it is.’
Lara called the experience ‘a true education’, adding: ‘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 sit and talk to me and educate me and, again, I’m really sorry.’
After accepting her apology, Lara said: ‘So grateful for a very positive conversation and that opportunity to turn a negative into a teachable moment.’
The professional dancers accepted Lara’s apology in the pre-recorded segment. They then held a dance class for hundreds of people in Times Square outside the GMA studio
But for many viewers the apology was not enough.
One wrote: ‘It’s not about other people understanding boys dancing. It’s about YOU understanding. Sorry, but this apology is not enough.’
Others said her apology seemed ‘fake’ and ‘scripted’, calling it a PR apology.
So You Think You Can Dance star Mark Kanemura who has worked with Lady Gaga posted to Instagram to ‘remind all boys that want to dance that dancing is fun, liberating, empowering, and freaking awesome!’
He posted a video dancing with a young dancer called Aaron Nelson, writing ‘BOYS DANCE TOO!!!’
He wrote: ‘Growing up, I used to get bullied a lot for dancing… i remember feeling so hurt and ashamed that i began questioning my existence and felt like i no longer wanted to live.
‘It is absolutely upsetting to hear grown adults.. let alone anyone shaming and ridiculing boys for dancing or wanting to dance.
‘I hope moving forward, we can cultivate safe spaces for boys to explore their creativity through the arts! #BoysDanceToo.’
But some did praise the GMA star for saying sorry.
One viewer wrote: ‘Truly a very heartfelt thank you to Lara Spencer for the on-air apology and the fact that she chose to learn from that mistake by talking to male dancers who bring great joy to lots and lots of other little boys who want to dance you did the right thing.’
Performer Telly Leung wrote: ‘Brava, @LaraSpencer – and thank you for showcasing these 3 wonderful role models in the dance community on @gma. This conversation will touch so many hearts and give courage to so many who just want to dance their hearts out.’
In the segment Thursday, Laura chuckled: ‘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.’
After the audience erupted with laughter, Laura held back her own giggles as she added: ‘Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet, I have news for you Prince William – we’ll see how long that lasts.’
It sparked a wave of criticism from celebrities including choreographer Brian Friedman and Gene Kelly’s widow.
Viewers took to Twitter in the aftermath of Lara’s apology. For many it was not enough but others praised her decision to say sorry for her comments on Prince George
Robbie Fairchild, left, is a Broadway star who stars in the big screen version of ‘Cats’. He said he accepted the apology from Lara Spencer, right,
Spencer apologized for her remarks on Instagram on Friday in a post where she shared a photograph of a mountain and said: ‘Go climb your mountain and love every minute of it’
George’s ballet lessons will be part of his curriculum at St Thomas’s School in Battersea, London, where he will attend classes next year. George and his classmates will have 35-minute ballet classes which are accompanied by a live piano player
On Friday, Spencer posted an apology on Instagram, writing: ‘My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday. 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.’
George’s ballet lessons will be part of his curriculum at St Thomas’s School in Battersea, London, where he will attend classes next year. It costs £18,000 ($22,000) a year.
George and his classmates will have 35-minute ballet classes which are accompanied by a live piano player.
William previously revealed that George had inherited his love for dance from the late Princess Diana.
Speaking at the BBC Radio 1’s Teen Hero awards last year, Prince William said: ‘George is doing dance as well, he loves it. My mother always used to dance, loved dance.
‘If it’s something you love, you do what you love and it’s very important, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You keep at it.’