Lara Spencer apologized on the air Monday for comments she made regarding Prince George’s ballet lessons on Thursday.
“I screwed up. I did,” the “Good Morning America” co-anchor said, staring straight into the camera. “The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid and I am deeply sorry. I’ve spoke with several members of the dance community over the past few days.”
She added, “I’ve listened ― I’ve learned about the bravery it takes a young boy to pursue a career in dance.”
Following her apology, Spencer showed a segment in which she interviewed three professional male dancers ― Robbie Fairchild, Travis Wall and Fabrice Calmels ― about their own experiences.
“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 talk to me and to educate me and, again, I’m really sorry,” she said.
This is Spencer’s first on-air apology, as she previously apologized for the comments she made last week in a statement she posted to her Instagram Story on Friday.
“My deepest apologies for an insensitive comment I made during pop news on Thursday,” she wrote after she laughed and mocked George, who is 6, in a segment about his upcoming class curriculum.
Spencer spoke about the young prince’s “demanding” upcoming schedule at his school, Thomas’s Battersea, where he’s been taking dance lessons for some time.
“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 slyly smiling, while the crowd and her co-hosts laughed.
When a picture of a smiling George flashed across the screen, Spencer joked that he “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 said, smiling, as others continued to laugh.
Many were upset with Spencer’s comments and laughter and called on her to apologize on-air:
Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, penned an open letter about her dancer husband and called on ABC “do better” following the incident.
“In 1958, my late husband, the dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, decided to take on the stigma facing male dancers in an Omnibus television program for NBC that he created and starred in called “Dancing, A Man’s Game,’” she wrote in a Facebook message, later obtained by Deadline.
She added, “Gene would be devastated to know that 61 years after his ground-breaking work the issue of boys and men dancing is still the subject of ridicule—and on a national network. ABC must do better.”
“George is doing dancing as well. He loves it,” William said in a video released by Kensington Palace last year.
“My mother always used to dance, she loved dancing,” William said 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.”
This article has been updated with more backlash to Lara Spencer’s comments and quotes from Prince William.