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Johnny Weir Deemed Too Gay for 'Stars on Ice Tour' Invitation

Sponsors of the 'Stars on Ice Tour' are refusing to invite Olympian and three-time National Champion figure skater Johnny Weir to perform because he's not "family friendly" enough.

Weir Read: Too gay.

GLAAD reports: "To say that Weir is 'not family friendly' would be a clear jab at his perceived sexual orientation. Weir is extremely involved with his family. He is putting his younger brother through college, and supports the family financially because his father’s disability prohibits him from working. Weir’s dedication to his family can be clearly documented in the Sundance series, Be Good Johnny Weir, which follows him and his family and friends through his life and career as a championship skater. Weir’s performance and costume style is sometimes considered flashier than those of other skaters, leading to questions about his perceived sexual orientation. While Weir has not officially announced his sexual orientation, he has garnered a significant amount of LGBT fans."

Weir's recent Vancouver press conference, at which he was forced to defend himself and his individuality, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. How is it possible to be too gay for an ice skating show? If any sport should be leading the way for the rest, it's this one. Having dated a skater I know how closeted gay men in this sport are encouraged to be. But with this brand of loathing how do we ever hope to support LGBT men and women in sports who are reluctant to come out? There are gay men in sports, some are in Skating. What's the big fucking deal here? Those that encourage this closeted behavior in sports should be gone.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 12, 2010 8:27:54 AM

  2. Uh, he is not too gay. He is too effeminate. It's one thing to be meekly, quietly effeminate, but he is flamboyantly effeminate. He relishes showcasing his effeminancy in people's faces. He uses his extreme effeminancy to shock, jolt. If he chooses to be so flamboyant, he should be prepared to alienate the masses. He can't be both flamboyantly effeminate and have mainstream success with the masses.

    Posted by: Javier | Mar 12, 2010 8:44:01 AM

  3. "He can't be both flamboyantly effeminate and have mainstream success with the masses".

    No, of course he can't.

    Posted by: BOY GEORGE, GLOBAL 80S SUPERSTAR | Mar 12, 2010 8:58:53 AM

  4. @ Javier: Um, have you ever heard of Liberace?

    Posted by: spiderseye | Mar 12, 2010 8:59:12 AM

  5. And, hello?

    Posted by: LIBERACE | Mar 12, 2010 9:01:02 AM

  6. Canadian pair skater Jamie Salé also went on a homophobic rant against Johnny Weir on a talkshow recently, accusing him of being "floofy" and damaging the reputation of men's skating:'s-not-so-safe-take-on-johnny-weir--/71245328001

    She even called him "anti-American".

    Weir is being besieged on all sides by various people in skating. This goes back to last year, when an educational DVD was sent out to all the judges that used Johnny Weir as an example of bad artistry, and someone who should get low program component scores. Not surprisingly, his competitive results have suffered ever since.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Mar 12, 2010 9:03:43 AM

  7. @ Javier -- as the self-appointed arbiter of mass opinion, surely you must realize that "too gay" means precisely "too effeminate." If it does not mean that, then what exactly does it mean? Johnny likes his own kind TOO much? Please.

    Effeminacy in men is particularly threatening to latent homophobes because the feminine characteristics trigger either scary moments of attraction, turbulent moments of misogyny, or both. The "family friendly" euphemism is assumed to be related to children, but children do not associate "fabulousness" with anything other than entertainment. It's the homophobic parents who assign social and sexual dimensions to male effeminacy.

    Stars on Ice is excusing, rationalizing, and perpetuation homophobia, pure and simple.

    Posted by: Rascal | Mar 12, 2010 9:03:47 AM

  8. Smucker's is the naming sponsor. Perhaps they'd like to hear from you on this:

    Posted by: Joseph | Mar 12, 2010 9:06:48 AM

  9. this is absolutely ridiculous...if any skater is a Star on Ice, it's Johnny Weir

    Posted by: ryan | Mar 12, 2010 9:11:42 AM

  10. My letter to Smucker's:

    As the named sponsor of Stars on Ice, Smuckers bears responsibility for the entertainment organization's refusal to invite Olympian and three-time National Champion figure skater Johnny Weir to perform because he is not "family friendly" enough.

    What is not "family friendly" is excluding and marginalizing people because of perceived gender characteristics. Families are not uniform in their makeup. Families include many different kinds of people. Efforts to promote narrow conformity hurt families more than the celebration of diversity.

    Mr. Weir has a flamboyant style with a long tradition in entertainment. Only homophobes and misogynists feel confronted by what some consider to be an effeminate style -- are those the groups that Smucker's has chosen to defend? Are those the people with whom Smucker's has chosen to be associated?

    Posted by: Rascal | Mar 12, 2010 9:22:52 AM

  11. Also, about this family values thing? Stars on Ice has no problem hiring drunk drivers (Alexei Yagudin, whom they hired after he was kicked off Champions on Ice for drinking problems), serial philanderers like Christopher Dean (he is the longtime choreographer for the show) and even people accused of sexually harassing minors (Lloyd Eisler). Of course, Stars on Ice is run by Scott Hamilton, who is on record as saying he's homophobic and famously ditched his figure skating costume at the Olympics because he thought it looked too gay. As a commentator, he shows little respect for Weir, often making jokes and giggling at Weir as Weir is skating.

    I say to hell with them. Johnny Weir should not join Stars on Ice even if they beg. Why should he help line the pockets of Hamilton and his ilk? The really lucrative tours right now are in Asia, where Weir is very popular. He should let Stars on Ice sink on its own.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Mar 12, 2010 9:23:39 AM

  12. Let's just slow down. We're reading on a blog that "GLAAD has learned from a source that wishes to remain anonymous..." I'm always a little skeptical of that. I would be surprised that Stars on Ice wouldn't want Johnny, given the scarcity of real figure skating stars right now, particularly Americans. Would Johnny even want to do this?? Seems like he's more interested in branching out, working on a career in fashion, etc. This almost seems beneath him.

    Posted by: Toddy | Mar 12, 2010 9:25:29 AM

  13. You're quite right, "Rascal." I'd add that effeminacy is threatening to 'phobes because of the way they cling to gender role assignments.

    Of course kids love Johnny. He's brilliant, incredibly sweet and a great skater. As always he will triumph over his enemies.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 12, 2010 9:26:53 AM

  14. Finally, FINALLY, people are talking about the severity of homophobia in figure skating. It has been getting nasty for some time now. By the way, Elizabeth Hasslebeck & Kurt Browning are hosting the ABC show "Thin Ice" this month - talk about a homophobic duo. Scott Hamilton, the owner of Stars on Ice, speaks on Pat Robertsons 700 Club and the "Figure Skating Hall of Fame" is located in Colorado Springs - home of the Evil James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Yeah.... its far worse than you thought - GO JOHNNY!!!

    Posted by: Markus | Mar 12, 2010 9:39:41 AM

  15. Toddy has a point. Perez Hilton picked this up and wrote the story with the only source being the petition. The petition conjectures that this MIGHT be the reason why he was not invited. It's very "could it be . . .?" They use "family friendly" in their conjecture. This language is getting picked up by blogs and others and its just not clear that it came from Smuckers or someone else. GLAAD, Perez H., and Towleroad are all now saying "family friendly" -- where did that language come from?

    Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe this is possible, but the phrasing trail makes me skeptical.

    Yeah, I read a Perez Hilton story.

    Posted by: E. Malcolm | Mar 12, 2010 9:40:11 AM

  16. While GLAAD is the first to get a source within the tour saying homophobia is the reason, it's been speculated for years why Weir was denied a spot on the tour. Weir's own agent, Tara Modlin, asked fans to sign a petition to get Stars on Ice to hire him recently. Tour founder Scott Hamilton's homophobia and disdain of Johnny Weir is well documented and quite public. The GLAAD item qualifies more as "duh!" than gossip.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Mar 12, 2010 9:48:30 AM

  17. Stars on Ice is owned by Scott Hamilton. All you have to do is listen to his commentary of skating events to hear his bias. Skaters who he signs to SOI contracts get the total ooooh ahhhh treatment. He uses his position as commentator to be a star-maker - gushing, and raving, telling back stories and whipping up excitement. If a skater is not part of SOI he is virtually silent. He rarely speaks of Johnny Weir. And when Johnny brings it to the big program, you can sense Hamilton's begrudging praise once the routine is finished. It is a bare-faced bias that NBC should be accountable for.

    If Scott is commentator for Worlds later this month listen for it. It is unreal.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 12, 2010 9:49:52 AM

  18. Too gay for figure skating? That's like saying "too tall for basketball." Or "too redneck for NASCAR."

    Posted by: crispy | Mar 12, 2010 9:59:29 AM

  19. I don't know if there's an anti-discrimination law wherever Stars on Ice is located, but this seems like a clear case of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Notice they did not say he wasn't invited because he isn't qualified or isn't a big enough star, but because he is not "family friendly" (read: too gay). A pretty open and shut case of discrimination.

    Posted by: Z | Mar 12, 2010 10:00:48 AM

  20. Javier, it's also illegal to discriminate based on sex stereotyping -- i.e., saying someone is "too feminine" or "too masculine." If that's what Stars on Ice is doing, they are violating federal law as well as possibly state law.

    Posted by: Z | Mar 12, 2010 10:02:41 AM

  21. Z, it depends on the federal court jurisdiction. While in Price-Waterhouse, the Supreme Court made it clear that sex stereotypes about women, would not be illegal under Title VII, it has never ruled just how far this would apply to men. Some appellate courts have embraced the notion that effeminate men are protected under Title VII, but other federal courts have been reluctant to protect them. In fact, the EEOC has very little guidance on protections for effeminate men under Title VII. At any rate, sex discriminators often assert the "bona fide occupational qualification" defense which allows employers to take sex or sex roles into account without legal sanction. In this case, Stars could assert that there is a legitimate business reason not to hire a very ostentiously effeminate skater.

    Posted by: Javier | Mar 12, 2010 10:12:50 AM

  22. My thoughts exactly, Crispy. Or too botoxed for the Real Housewives or too dumb to be Carrie Prejean or too homophobic to work for NOM, the list goes on . . .

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 12, 2010 10:29:24 AM

  23. The bravest thing you can do is be yourself and Johnny has proved he has more bravery than 10 Scott Hamiltons.

    Posted by: gerry | Mar 12, 2010 10:37:41 AM

  24. Homophobes make me sick

    Posted by: KFLO | Mar 12, 2010 10:39:46 AM

  25. This pisses me off to no end! I am so tired of gays being treated like shit and getting
    little or no respect by those afraid that exhibiting some common decency towards us
    is going to emasculate them in any way.

    Posted by: Joey | Mar 12, 2010 10:50:01 AM

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