IS MAINSTREAM AMERICA STILL HOMOPHOBIC?

So, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamantion called Nigel Lythgoe on his anti-gay comments on SYTYCD last week and Lythgoe apologized. I missed last week’s show, but according to the Times he told a male ballroom duo that he didn’t think the show’s audiences would be receptive to them and that, though they’d had men dancing with other men on the show before, they’d never danced “in each other’s arms.” (The pair danced Samba). Lythgoe said on the show that he’d like to see them both “dancing with a girl.”

Lythgoe rightly apologized for his comments and word choice but my question is, is such a couple really not right for the show’s audience (which is mainstream America)? Would people these days really get so upset over watching two men ballroom dance together? I’ve lived in New York for so long now (and been part of the dance world) that I feel I’ve kind of lost touch with middle America. I mean, would the average American seriously be offended?

15 Comments

  1. I really do think the average American would be offended. Gay marriage isn't even legalized yet.

  2. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I know, funny but I wrote this right before all the Proposition 8 news came in…

  3. You know, I guess for me, the question isn't so much “Is America ready?”, but rather “Does it matter if America's ready?” What happens if they're not? Isn't this a show where you vote? Are they really that afraid that the average viewer of a show about DANCE is all that squeamish about homosexuality? “I was gonna watch monster trucks, but I decided to watch 'So You Think You Can Dance' instead. And now look at that! Sissies on the tee-vee! My hetero eyes are burning!”

    It feels like the same arguments being used against gay marriage. America's not ready. How ready does America need to be? Don't like it, America? Then don't marry someone the same sex as you, and don't vote for the guys dancing together.

    There, I just saved America. That was easy. Someone should send me a dollar.

  4. Tonya, The irony is one of the guys is straight. I think Nigel should have the male duo perform this Season on a results night to prove he is a good sport. Hate you missed the first episode Brandon Bryant is back this year and his audition was AWESOME! Hope he makes the Top 20 this Season!

  5. Actually Shim it is in 4 states. Just not in California

  6. There's rumors floating around as that's why Adam didn't win AI because he's a “closet” gay. Not that I care (I hate either show, sorry! :( ) but I think people are just ridiculous and need to realize that many animals in the world practice what we consider homosexuality. Even have better success rartes in rasing children (Male flamingos in pairs, steal eggs from “straight” couples and have better success in having that egg or eggs reach adult hood). Ok off rants :)

    I personally think Nigel is an idiot anyway so *shrugs*

  7. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    You're totally right, Robert. Why couldn't they have had them on anyway? Dance is supposed to be an art and art is supposed to push boundaries and make people think. I guess the producers are so obsessed with making money that they feel they have to pander to the status quo, whatever they feel the status quo is.

  8. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Hi Jonathan — yeah, he should have them perform! I have ABT again this Thursday (it's ballet season!) but am going to record the show this week so I don't miss it again, even if I am ticked at Nigel.

  9. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    It's interesting; I guess it doesn't actually matter whether both or one of the guys is gay or straight or whatever, because it's more the representation. What does this *look* like, etc. At my first studio, which was known for its nightly dance parties, there used to be guys dancing together all the time who weren't necessarily gay. Sometimes there wouldn't be enough women and they wanted to dance, so they'd dance with each other. The guy who owned the place was an excellent dancer, so everyone – -male and female — would want to dance with him. I was a good learning opportunity, it was fun, and no one cared what it looked like.

  10. I meant that it's not legalized nation wide.

  11. Good points Robert. I don't have a dollar for you, but I agree with your opinions.

  12. I guess I'm just so use to it. In swing, guys dancing with guys and girls dancing with girls (I've danced with other women. Sometimes they're even the better teachers on the floor). I have several videos with guys dancing with guys (particarly three guys dancing together, that was entertaining) and girls dancing with girls. All of them were straight.

  13. so hard to tell……b/c we're lucky to live in a city where we don't think twice about such things, but with recent events in california, that's not the case everywhere

    that being said, dancers are watching this show as well — many of whom are gay or allies….nigel's comments only generate more questions, which unfortunately, not even he, as a producer can provide a definite answer without driving away a portion of his audience……..

    thanks for pointing this out :o)

    onwards!

  14. NIgel is an idiot. He salivates and ogles the female contestants and dislikes any male dancers that aren't “manly” enough for him. I think the success of this show has gone to his head and he now thinks HE'S the star of the show, instead of the dancers and the dances.

  15. NIgel is an idiot. He salivates and ogles the female contestants and dislikes any male dancers that aren't “manly” enough for him. I think the success of this show has gone to his head and he now thinks HE'S the star of the show, instead of the dancers and the dances.

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