On May 22, GLAAD released a Call to Action in response to remarks made the night before by judge Nigel Lythgoe on the popular reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance. Today, GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano and Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson spoke with Mr. Lythgoe. He expressed his apology over his misuse of words and released this official statement:
"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."
-Nigel Lythgoe, judge and executive producer, So You Think You Can Dance
"We certainly appreciate the dialogue, and the opportunity for Nigel to help further educate people about how words and images matter," said Giuliano. "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."