Raymond Arroyo & Laura Ingraham Disparage #GoodMorningBallet

by Michael Mahany | 8/31/2019 7:28 AM

Raymond Arroyo on Fox News’ ‘The Ingraham Angle.’

Much of the dance community was understandably up in arms after journalist Raymond Arroyo — a guest on Thursday night’s episode of the Fox News program ‘The Ingraham Angle’ — made stereotypical, bullying, and disparaging comments about the dancers involved in the #GoodMorningBallet gathering that occurred earlier in the week.

#GoodMorningBallet, you’ll remember, was the peaceful and very public early morning ballet class held in Times Square last Monday in response to ‘Good Morning America’ anchor Lara Spencer’s bullying comments aimed at Prince George — the six-year-old son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge — and his interest in ballet.

More: Turning A Negative Into A Positive — ‘GMA’ Host Lara Spencer Apologizes

Lara Spencer apologized Monday morning on ‘GMA’ via a taped interview with three prominent ballet dancers: Travis Wall, Robert Fairchild, and Fabrice Calmels.

Right now it’s unclear why ‘The Ingraham Angle’ opted to make fodder of Spencer’s apology and the #GoodMorningBallet gathering nearly four full days after the spat between the 'GMA' host and the dance community had been settled.

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Well, here we are again...This time an insensitive and stereotyped self righteousness quip wasn’t enough, @foxnews hosts @ingrahamangle and @realraymondarroyo BLATANTLY mocked and ridiculed ballet and the men that participate. With quotes like “I hope she offends a mechanic next so boys can learn how to change a tire” and stand out moments like simply pointing and laughing at men dancing, I’m reminded again that this issue is about bullying. Ballet is once again the vehicle, but for a MUCH LARGER ISSUE. @lara.spencer and @goodmorningamerica I hope you can bring attention to this moment on air to call out this behavior and reaffirm viewers why this is disgusting an terrible. Let’s also ask ourselves what can we do? A repost sure, a shady comment why not? But what action outside of this app will we engage in that ends this? You can join me and the efforts of @nuartsproductions in helping to create a safe and supportive environment for men in dance but also in creative spaces. Or you can check out @itgetsbetter! We’ve seen the power of our community let’s build on that to end the encouragement of toxic masculinity and divisively mysogynist behavior. PS ballet doesn’t involve climbing ropes, that’s the circus....where both of you....nvm

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“Can you believe this?” Arroyo sneeringly asked Ingraham after a clip of Lara Spencer’s ‘GMA’ apology played during the segment. “This is what politicians do when they offend an ethnic group, you know?”

“I was in ballet, Laura, I did ballet as part of my acting training," Arroyo continued. “People razz you. If you walk around in tights people are gonna razz you. It’s not exactly the, you know, exemplar of a male.”

Arroyo, it should be noted, studied acting at New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts.

“I got kicked out of ballet,” Ingraham, seemingly amused with the commentary, squeezed in between Arroyo’s snide comments.

“This ended, by the way with 300 ballet dancers, mostly boys, doing a class in Times Square, if you can believe it — look at this!” Arroyo caustically quipped as video footage from dancer Alex D. Wong’s Instagram account began to run.

'SYTYCD', 'DWTS', and member of Broadway's 2011 production of 'Newsies' Alex D. Wong spoke with Dance Network at the #GoodMorningBallet gathering.

“It looks like Tai-Chi people,” Ingraham narrow-mindedly interrupted. 

“I hope [Lara Spencer] offends a mechanic next so the boys can learn to change the oil…” Arroyo added before Ingraham then cut him off to go to a commercial break.

“So, you’re sorry we’re out of time?” Arroyo insolently asked before he raised his hands in a prayer pose — a direct mock of Fairchild, Wall, and Calmels. “Apology accepted.”

More: ’GMA' Host Lara Spencer Rebuked by the Dance Community for "Bullying"

The callous and direct intent to bully was brazenly apparent to many dancers who saw the video of the comments posted online Friday morning. Many in the dance community, however, refused to stoop to the level of Arroyo and Ingraham’s remarks.

“Anyone who makes fun of a peaceful, compassionate resolve of a conflict dealing with bullying has lost the plot,” Robert Fairchild, a Tony Award nominee and former New York City Ballet principal, told Dance Network when asked for comment.

Tony nominee and former NYCB principal Robert Fairchild spoke with Dance Network last Monday at the #GoodMorningBallet gathering outside the ‘Good Morning America’ studios.

“It doesn’t deserve any of my time or attention. They are evil people and I feel sorry for them,” Broadway dancer and co-organizer of #GoodMorningBallet Charlie Williams told DN.

Broadway vet and organizer of #GoodMorningBallet Charlie Williams spoke with Dance Network last Monday at the event.

Sam Quinn, the respected New York City dancer and choreographer who originated the idea for #GoodMorningBallet, posted the video of Arroyo and Ingraham’s commentary on Instagram along with some thoughts of his own.

“Fox News decided to make fun of our event outside ‘Good Morning America’ studios last night,” Quinn wrote. “Although blood is BOILING, our post was broadcasted in about 7 different countries and inspired boys all over the world. That’s the important story here. LET'S STAY AS POSITIVE AS WE CAN AND KEEP OUR GOOD THING GOING. LOVE always wins. Fox - Stop the hate. Stop the ignorance. STOP BULLYING. Keep dancing, boys.”

#GoodMorningBallet originator and organizer Sam Quinn explained to Dance Network last Monday how he came up with the idea for the gathering.

Many viewed the statements by Arroyo as deriving from an antiquated world of misguided gender stereotypes, gas-lit social politics, and — regardless of his artistic training  a complete and utter ignorance of dance.

More: The Devastating Loss Of Harold Prince

For others, however, especially many male dancers, Arroyo’s remarks reopened still freshly healing wounds, and the statements reinvigorated the discussion of what “masculinity” actually means.

Travis Wall, Robert Fairchild, Charlie Williams, Sam Quinn and more at last Monday’s #GoodMorningBallet event in Times Square.

“A male dancer exudes confidence, compassion, strength, acceptance, and love,” one follower wrote on Quinn’s post. “He treats his dance partner with the utmost respect and support. These ARE defining characteristics of masculinity in 2019.”

Fox News did not respond to Dance Network’s request for comment.

Dance Network’s coverage of the class at last Monday’s #GoodMorningBallet event.

Michael Mahany serves as Dance Network’s New York City correspondent. He is also a professional actor, singer, dancer, writer, and host. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook.