Figure Skating | Johnny Weir | Olympics | Quebec | Sports | Stephen Colbert

Quebec Newscasters: Johnny Weir Flamboyance 'Sets a Bad Example', He 'Should Compete in the Women's Competition'


Johnny Weir met the flamboyant Stephen Colbert over the weekend.

Meanwhile, more sports commentators are the subject of complaints regarding their treatment of Johnny Weir, this time in Quebec, from veteran sportscasters Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg.

Said Mailhot: "This may not be politically correct. But do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?"

Replied Goldberg: "They'll think all the boys who skate will end up like him. It sets a bad example."

The exchange wasn't the first time they had made questionable comments regarding Weir: "In earlier RDS coverage of Weir, Goldberg and Mailhot also brought up South African runner Caster Semenya, who was forced to undergo gender testing following her 2009 win at the world track and field championships in Germany. 'We should make him (Weir) pass a gender test at this point,' Goldberg said and Mailhot then jokingly suggested Weir should compete in the women's competition."

The Quebec council of gays and lesbians has demanded a public apology.

Meanwhile, Weir gave an interview to  Eddie McGuire, Australian newscaster who suggested Weir "didn't leave anything in the closet" when performing.

Weir forgave McGuire: "For me, I take everything as a game. I am very laid-back as far as that goes. I like to poke fun at people, there's no harm with that, it's all in good fun."

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  1. it's contagious!

    Posted by: rick | Feb 22, 2010 9:52:40 AM

  2. Well, I was always told/taught that Canadians were superior to their neighbors to the south(going back to slavery time, you know)...but they've a few idiots too, I guess.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 22, 2010 10:06:06 AM

  3. Sadly Derrick, we have our few idiots. Too many of them in fact...

    Posted by: roupie | Feb 22, 2010 10:16:06 AM

  4. Thanks, Johnny, for being the bigger man. Talk about setting an example.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Feb 22, 2010 10:19:09 AM

  5. From the way he quelled the crowds booing of the judges following his long program, to granting such a cordial interview with McGuire and his comment that "it's all in good fun," I think Weir has actually been the epitome of sportsmanship at the Games.

    Posted by: Mike C. | Feb 22, 2010 10:30:39 AM

  6. Weir has a long career a head of him, long after the loser judges will be buried and forgotten.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Feb 22, 2010 10:41:07 AM

  7. He's just being a human being.
    With his own traits.

    Since these supposed "straight,masculine" sports casters could'nt get out there and do 1/4 of what this young man did .
    They should take there "straight" sensabilities and go home.
    In other words.."shut the F*** up".

    Posted by: griffin1573 | Feb 22, 2010 10:45:46 AM

  8. This is proof that even in open societies with progressive legislation and protections for LBGT people, vigilance is still required. We have to challenge the media and other high-profile members of society and call them on their excesses and transgressions.

    Homophobia is still alive and well in Quebec society. This is particularly the case in the school system, in the regions (all of Québec excluding Montreal, Quebec City and Gatineau) and in the trades, where being gay is still a strong taboo.

    Even high-profile gay TV presenters are not supportive of Johnny Weir's right to be different without suffering a barrage of critism fully unrelated to his sport or sporting performance. I'm specifically referring to pubcaster Radio-Canada's highly rated "Tout le monde en parle" and Danny Turcotte who said, "Certain costumes really look faggy" ("fifi" in Québec slang). "I'd say one thing to skaters: give us a chance!"

    I'd say one thing to Danny, give your gay brothers a chance to be who they are without fanning the flames of homophobia. It's up to us to step up to the plate and take on the homophobes when these situations arise and not to coerce other gay men to 'tone it down' so our fellow gay men and boys 'take less flack' for being gay and different.

    This is such a disappointment and the proof positive that all of us in the GLBT community and our allies have to call people on this type of insulting language and on high-profile gays who don't offer their support when they have the opportunity to do so.

    Posted by: Ian | Feb 22, 2010 10:48:41 AM

  9. I was pissed off at the remarks by the RDS commentators; I have to admit though, I did laugh when I read McGuire's comment.

    Posted by: fhrblig | Feb 22, 2010 10:50:24 AM

  10. Anti-gay bigotry is created and perpetuated by heterosexuals. What these heterosexual commentators said was they want figure skating to be heterosexual-only or at least masculine in the heterosexual sense.

    I am so proud of Johnny. I will never forget his free skate. It was so beautiful.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 22, 2010 11:05:47 AM

  11. Réseau des Sports - RDS - has taken the high road and issued a statement regarding the improper comments of the sportscasters;

    And a complaint has been lodged with the Broadcast Standards Council which takes such things very seriously.

    Posted by: Dickster | Feb 22, 2010 11:28:07 AM

  12. @Derrick

    Canada has a progressive political culture. But it does not have a progressive culture as such. That is, LGBT activists can move legislation through Parliament and they can successfully go to court to remedy discrimination after it happens. However, the fact that such litigation is still necessary - and all too common - suggests that there's still a long way to go.

    Likewise, recent incidents involving African and South Asian immigrants imply that while the Canadian public loves multiculturalism as a policy, they are beginning to feel the strain of it as a reality. According to Statistics Canada, the non-white population recently topped 10% for the very first time. That has created a sense of angst among whites. Tolerance is always better in theory than in practice. I don't know if the backlash in Canada will get anywhere near as heated as the Netherlands, Australia, or Denmark.

    I hope not.

    Posted by: John | Feb 22, 2010 1:03:51 PM

  13. I'd like to leave them in an alley with two pissed off drag queens, let's see who survives.

    Posted by: Qjersey | Feb 22, 2010 1:05:47 PM

  14. Come on, people. Weir went over the top to be flamboyant and in your face. He obviously enjoys the attention and the controversy and can take care of himself. As for the skating, I admit I prefer the more traditional testosterone-laden acrobatics on the men's side. To each his own.

    Posted by: niles | Feb 22, 2010 1:30:11 PM

  15. Niles
    Johnny has more balls than any of the "traditional-laden acrobatic" competitors.

    Posted by: Guest: | Feb 22, 2010 3:00:20 PM

  16. I thought Johnny was flamboyant until I saw some of the skin-tight, garish, crazy printed outfits worn by the skiers and lugers, to name two of the sports. Talk about bad taste! People can say whatever they want about Johnny's mannerisms or costumes, but he is an Olympian and he performed briliiantly. So let the homophobes suck on that.

    Posted by: Will | Feb 22, 2010 3:23:01 PM

  17. That's funny. A frenchman calling someone out on setting "a bad example" by being too effeminate. You make me laugh, "claude" and "alain" (does it get any poofier than that?). Go drink some wine and eat a baguette.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 22, 2010 3:31:15 PM

  18. Johnny's responce was perfect.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Feb 22, 2010 4:44:13 PM

  19. very amusing, I haven't heard such brilliant insights since the lesbian gym teachers harassed me in High School.

    Posted by: richard s | Feb 22, 2010 4:49:44 PM

  20. Tank, you are weird. I thought you were talking about Goldberg and were telling him to go eat a bagel!

    Posted by: Greg | Feb 22, 2010 6:36:13 PM

  21. Given that the RDS's Golberg is gay, really a low shot! I do think Weir could bring it down a few hundread notches but comment like those should never be made. He has since apologized and contact Weir to personnaly speak with him en extend that apology.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 22, 2010 9:00:04 PM

  22. Just want to clarify: neither Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg are "Frenchmen." They are Quebecois or Quebecers (or even just "French Canadian"). Quebec hasn't been part of France since 1763. Calling them Frenchmen is like calling Americans "Englishmen" or "the English."

    As a Canadian, this always irks me.

    Posted by: Doomed to be Fabulous | Feb 22, 2010 9:02:59 PM

  23. I know, it's calling them french...tabarnak!

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 22, 2010 9:24:32 PM

  24. Fascists created the term "politically correct" so that they'd have a deniable alternative to statements like,

    "I may be a homophobic bigot hell bent on enforcing rigid gender stereotypes out to my own self-involved narcissistic fear, but do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?"

    Pity Mailhot didn't reply,

    "Gee, Alain, the only I can say for sure is that he seems to care more about his personal integrity than winning. Maybe he should compete with the women."

    Posted by: Bryan | Feb 23, 2010 12:43:49 AM

  25. Wow -- Johnny was more gracious than I ever could have been.

    Posted by: k | Feb 23, 2010 2:12:51 AM

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