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Nigel Lythgoe Responds: Not a Fan of 'Brokeback' Ballroom - Update

Nigellythgoe #sytycd

Nigel Lythgoe of So You Think You Can Dance responds on Twitter to internet uproar over his homophobic remarks on last night's show in response to a pair of same-sex dancers.

If you missed it, all the background is HERE.

UPDATE. Nigel Lythgoe issued an apology for his remarks. Here is his statement, via GLAAD:

“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.”

Said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano: “We certainly appreciate the dialogue, and the opportunity for Nigel to help further educate people about how words and images matter. His sincere words are appreciated, and we look forward to words, images and representations of the LGBT community on So You Think You Can Dance that will be fair, accurate and inclusive in the future.”

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Comments

  1. Hatred towards "effeminate" men is still a very serious prejudice and bigotry, one that even many gay men seem to possess.

    Further, it is rooted in misogyny and the belief that womanly equals weak and inferior.

    Posted by: Wes | May 22, 2009 1:36:17 PM


  2. Nigel and his second rate production can suck it.
    What a douche.

    Posted by: BP | May 22, 2009 1:37:09 PM


  3. he needs to shut up. he isn't making his situation any better. nope.

    Posted by: liz templin | May 22, 2009 1:39:05 PM


  4. I so totally don't care about this show, but being told you're too effeminate by a man sporting a feather job not unlike Farrah Fawcett's in the late 1970s must be a terrific blow. This guy's a total douche, this much is at least clear.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 22, 2009 1:40:30 PM


  5. He is right that being gay doesn't necessarily mean being effeminate, something that seems to be lost on many people.

    Posted by: Rhea | May 22, 2009 1:42:11 PM


  6. NIGEL: Boo F*cking Hoo. You knew exactly what you were saying when it spewed from your lips. You've had your fifteen minutes, now GO AWAY.

    Posted by: Alexander | May 22, 2009 1:42:19 PM


  7. Heh. not that I expect anyone to conform to stereotypes...but, isn't he a bit dense coming on so strong with the heterosexist angle on a show...about effing dancing? As if that didn't have "gay demographic" written all over it. I couldn't give a toss about network dancing shows...I DO take quite seriously the language, and reaction he used and is continuing to use. Not at all impressed.

    Posted by: g_whiz | May 22, 2009 1:43:13 PM


  8. I find it funny that he places a negative connotation to what is considered effeminate. As if effeminate guys are to blame for the negativity in his comments and the social standpoint taken by others, and not his/their own unsupported prejudice. Regardless, it is clear he does not like two guys dancing together if it is not platonic.
    Translation = Homophobe.

    Posted by: Torb | May 22, 2009 1:44:11 PM


  9. Fuck him and the other fools on that panel. That show will never be turned on in my house again.

    Posted by: John | May 22, 2009 1:46:22 PM


  10. "He is right that being gay doesn't necessarily mean being effeminate, something that seems to be lost on many people."

    True, but whats wrong with being effeminate?

    He's still being an insulting douchebag.

    Posted by: Wes | May 22, 2009 1:52:41 PM


  11. Where the F are his PR people?

    It would have been better to say nothing that what he did in his response. just digging deeper

    The show's freaking largest demographic is gays and the fag hags that love them.

    This show will be way down in the ratings this season , MARK MY words

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | May 22, 2009 1:53:41 PM


  12. The most inane set of rationalizations I've seen in awhile. He may be gay himself for all I know or care, what he said was still highly homophobic.

    Posted by: Bruno | May 22, 2009 1:57:27 PM


  13. I will NEVER ever again watch this show!

    Posted by: Marc | May 22, 2009 1:58:42 PM


  14. He needs to read the book "SISSYPHOBIA"

    Posted by: Ralph | May 22, 2009 1:58:48 PM


  15. Anyway, the guy is sharp. He knows just what he's doing. (Stir up some controversy...and..) I'd never even heard of him until now.

    Posted by: JT | May 22, 2009 2:00:57 PM


  16. Sissyphobia: Gay Men and Effeminate Behavior is a book by Tim Bergling.

    The neologism "sissyphobia" refers to the fear, dislike or hatred of effeminate men, or "sissies."

    The term itself is analogous to "homophobia".

    Bergling argues that sissyphobia is common among American gay men, who often celebrate male femininity in some contexts (drag performance, for example), but who rarely consider it an attractive characteristic. Bergling points towards tropes now common in personal ads, including "straight acting," now a common term in Western gay newspapers.

    This is in marked contrast to much American lesbian culture, in which drag kings, female-to-male transsexuals and butch women are often "in demand."

    In fact, a significant number of Western gay men are not attracted to or even hostile towards "sissies."

    In Bergling's opinion, possible reasons may include a desire for gay men to assimilate and ingrained sexism.

    More broadly, some feminists claim that "straight" Western society is "sissyphobic" or hostile towards effeminate men, and that in many areas mainstream acceptance of gays is contingent upon their conforming to male sex stereotypes.

    Posted by: Ralph | May 22, 2009 2:01:38 PM


  17. What I found intriguing was that one of them identified as straight and the other gay. That didn't seem to be commented on at all, oddly. And, frankly, I thought the gay guy danced better and seemed more aggressive and confident; maybe it's because the "straight" guy wasn't used to following or had that last little vestige of fear of being perceived as gay. I also felt, that perhaps a tango would have been a better choice than a cha-cha--and come on, sashes? Straight America has more voters than gay voters and it could have been made more palatable without losing the gay meme. With that said, Mr. Lythgoe with his Farah Fawcett long hair, thin face and pouty lips has much to answer for. Ron Reagan Jr, after pouncing on Rush Limbaugh for his condemantion of Nancy Pelosi's looks, will be coming after Mr. Lythgoe next: http://walled-in-pond.blogspot.com/2009/05/ron-reagan-slags-rush-limbaugh-real.html.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 22, 2009 2:05:25 PM


  18. Yeah, he clearly doesn't get homophobia. The gay jock quarterback in high school that can "pass" as straight doesn't bother him. Its the sissy queen that he thinks needs to pushed to the side.

    Yeah, someone's got some internalized homophobia methinks.

    Posted by: Ed | May 22, 2009 2:05:49 PM


  19. He wants to be Simon from American Idol, but he can't manage to be even that likable.

    Posted by: Wes | May 22, 2009 2:07:32 PM


  20. it's funny that he tries to parse the difference between effeminacy and gayness now. he already said he didn't like "Brokeback Ballroom."

    Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2009 2:08:15 PM


  21. Nigel Lythgoe: "God made Fred and Ginger, not Fred and Ted"

    His idiotic comment about "Brokeback Ballroom" says it all.

    Posted by: Terry | May 22, 2009 2:13:41 PM


  22. I love the attempt to switch the accusation of prejudice.

    Oh, but YOU'RE the one equating homosexuality with effeminacy. YOU are the ones stereotyping!

    How deep.

    Fuck you anti-effeminate bitches. I'm not even particularly effeminate (through no concious decision of my own, though I have my moments), but the level of prejudice hurled at feminine guys deeply disgusts me. Especially when it comes from a self-loathing queer.

    Sexual attraction is one thing. I myself am not particularly attracted to feminine types. But basic respect and decency is another.

    Just remember every time you look in the mirror, you're still a fag. Just as much of a fag as any of us, bitch!

    Posted by: Wes | May 22, 2009 2:17:10 PM


  23. Their routine and costumes were very reminiscent of Blades of Glory...he's right about that.

    Wasn't their reason for dancing together that they couldn't get other partners? That's pretty ludicrous considering the ratio of female dancers to male dancers.

    And am I the only one who didn't believe the gay dancer's given age of 26? Or that the "straight" dancer wasn't actually gay?

    Beyond that Lythgoe is obviously bigotted towards effeminate men. This is the same garbage that is being done in figure skating - trying to "de-gay" it to make it "acceptable" to bigots - which is akin to having white singers like Pat Boone record "acceptable" versions of songs by black artists in the 50's. It's a load of crap.

    Not surprised that this douche uses Twitter either.

    Posted by: paul c | May 22, 2009 2:18:46 PM


  24. Str8 guys are well known for pulling this kind of bullshit ALL THE TIME!!!

    Ive heard it all before.

    "Im not a homophobe,Im cool with gay people,I just dont like seeing 2 guys kissing,dancing with each other,or holding each other's hands"

    In translation: "I dont like fags,they are not allowed to be themselves in my presence.But I dont mind seeing 2 girls make out,its fun too watch 2 girls make out and undress each other.But 2 guys is nasty"

    "I have no problem with gays,as long as they know not to touch me"

    Translation: "I hate queers/fags,if they touch me Ill get 3 of my other str8 buddies and we will all beat the shit out of the little faggot"

    "I believe overtly effeminate dancing destroys the opportunity for many male dancers to be supported"

    Translation: "I dont like seeing homos dancing together,there is no masculinity in men dancing with other men"

    "Im not a fan of brokeback ballroom"

    Which basically in his own condescending attitude,means he doesnt want gay men dancing at all.

    Then they'll backtrack when under fire.Its as rich as it gets.

    If you ask me,With the kind of shit Ive heard fly out of the mouths of str8 men,and observing the behavior of "MOST" str8 men around gay men,It looks to me that the only "Not so manly" men are mostly men who are heterosexual.

    Im just sayin'

    Posted by: Automotive Enthusiast | May 22, 2009 2:27:19 PM


  25. I don't know what causes some people to be more effeminate, but I'm pretty sure it's like sexual orientation - that it's something you're born with - not something you learn or choose to be. A lot of gay guys have effeminate traits, and most young boys - both gay and straight - spend a lot of effort and emotional pain covering up these traits so homophobic bullies don't pick on them for acting and being who they are. I think this fear of displaying sensitivity and gracefulness is psychologically damaging to everyone, and it's why lots of men can't or won't dance.

    To me it's odd that people can be so supportive of a physically challenged person(like the woman who danced last night), and still feel that an effeminate man is something disgusting that should be overcome, or at least masked.

    Nigel, in his zeal to convince fathers that male dancing is butch, would probably have given the axe to Nijinsky, Nureyev, Roberto Bolle, and countless other great dancers. But to be fair, this deep-seated loathing of effeminate traits in men goes way beyond Nigel. In truth, there are probably vestiges of this prejudice in all of us. Maybe someday we'll get beyond this, and maybe then effeminate boys will be allowed just to be themselves.

    Posted by: expedito | May 22, 2009 2:29:42 PM


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