UPDATE: Lythgoe has since issued an apology. He says: “I sincerely regret the fact that I have upset people with the poor word choices and comments I made both during the taping of the So You Think You Can Dance audition and on my personal status update. I am not homophobic and it was extremely upsetting for me to be classed as such.
“I have been forthright and consistent with my opinion, as a judge, that professional male dancers should move with strength and agility — like Gene Kelly and Rudolph Nureyev. I now realize how this could be misconstrued. I have been a dancer, and involved in the dance world, for nearly 50 years. Professionally and personally, I believe the sexual orientation of an auditioner or contestant is irrelevant. All that said, the fact that I have unintentionally upset people is distressing to me and it is obvious I have made mistakes that I must learn from. I trust that my humor will be more sensitive and mindful moving forward.”
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD, was not amused by unkind comments made by judge Nigel Lythgoe on last night’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance‘ premiere after the performance of a same-sex couple.
“It’s unacceptable for this kind of blatant homophobia to occur,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano in a statement. “Fox Entertainment and Nigel Lythgoe owe Misha, Mitchel and the whole LGBT community an apology.”
After same-sex couple Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel danced the samba on last night’s episode, Nigel blurted out, “I think you probably alienate a lot of our audience. I mean, we’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but they’ve never really done it in each other’s arms before.” Watch the segment online.
“Do you know what? I’d like to see you both dancing with a girl,” he added. And later, online, he Twittered, “The same-sex ballroom guys did remind me of Blades of Glory. However, I’m not a fan of Brokeback ballroom.”
GLAAD then issued a ‘call to action’ asking supporters to “call on [Fox] to listen to and discuss our community’s concerns – and call on Nigel Lythgoe to apologize for his snide, homophobic remarks.”