“My deepest apologizes for an insensitive comment I made during pop news on Thursday,” the 50-year-old wrote in an Instagram story posted on Friday.
“From ballet, which I took as a kid, to anything in life you wish to explore, I fully believe we should all pursue our passion. Go climb your mountain ― and love every minute of it,” she said. “Good Morning America” has not yet responded to a request for comment.
On Thursday’s episode of the ABC morning show, Spencer spoke about the 6-year-old’s “demanding” schedule when he heads back to class.
“In addition to the usual first or 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 told the audience, emphasizing the word “ballet” and somewhat trying to hide a smile, while the rest of crowd and her co-hosts laughed along.
A photo of George smiling flashed across the screen, while Spencer sarcastically said that the young royal “looks so happy about the ballet class!”
“Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We’ll see how long that lasts,” the co-anchor added with a smile as the audience and her co-hosts continued to laugh along with the bit.
Many were horrified by Spencer’s comments and accused her of “bullying” the young royal.
“What this is really about is bullying,” wrote Courtney Escoyne for Dance Magazine in a piece published on Friday. “Because that’s what we just watched: A grown woman bullying a 6-year-old child. On national television. To laughter and applause.”
Many on social media echoed Escoyne’s sentiments.
Dance sociologist Doug Risner of Wayne State University in Detroit conducted a study that found that 11 percent of boys who did ballet experienced physical harm because of their dancing, while 93 percent of boys involved in ballet reported “teasing and name calling,” and 68 percent experienced “verbal or physical harassment.”
In ballet dancer David Hallberg’s 2017 memoir, “A Body of Work: Dancing to The Edge and Back,” he spoke about being relentlessly bullied. The star dancer said that he was called slurs and a “girl,” and was once doused in “an entire bottle of cheap drugstore perfume” by some boys for practicing ballet.
“George is doing dancing as well. He loves it,” William says in a video released by Kensington Palace in October 2018.
“My mother always used to dance, she loved dancing,” William added of the late Princess Diana. “And if it’s something you love, you do what you love. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Keep at it.”