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Friday, March 12, 2010

Scott Hamilton, we expected better from you
Posted by Jill | 6:07 AM
I guess we should have known when Scott Hamilton appeared on The Colbert Report and referred, in a segment discussing Johnny Weir, to there having been "a lot of fabulousness" in skating for a long time.

But despite the fact that the out-and-proud Rudy Galindo skated in "Champions On Ice" (not the same tour) from 1996 to 2007 and even in the "Elvis Sk8" tour in 2002, was enough to convince International Merchandising Corporation (IMG) that a guy who isn't even out can skate on a tour without the world coming to an end. I wonder if "Stars on Ice" is going to refuse to allow women's Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na to skate because her coach, Brian Orser, is gay? I mean, if she hangs around with a gay guy, she's "family-unfriendly" by association, right? How does IMG explain the fact that Orser skated with "Stars on Ice" for years? Orser was outed by an ex-boyfriend in 1998 and skated with the tour until 2007.

Let me see if I have this straight (heh): An out gay man (Orser) can skate with "Stars on Ice" if he butches it up enough, but a an androgynous man of indeterminate sexual orientation who likes wearing sequins and makeup is somehow not "family-friendly":
GLAAD has learned from a source that wishes to remain anonymous that sponsors of the Stars on Ice Tour, which include Smuckers and IMG Entertainment, have refused to allow 3-time US National Champion and 2-time Olympian Johnny Weir to participate because they claim that he is “not family friendly.”

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. He remains one of the most outspoken skaters today, and won an online poll asking fans “Who would you like to see guest star on Stars on Ice?”

Weir recently announced that he is taking a break from skating in order to “rework his technique.” This news does not release the Stars on Ice sponsors from asking him to participate. The door should be opened to him as one of the most influential skaters in the field today.

So what do you have to do to be "family-friendly" in sports entertainment these days? Assault a woman? Kill dogs? Take steroids? Cheat on your wife with everything that moves?

Someone please explain to me how someone who helps support his parents, mentors young skaters, and takes time for appreciation of the many young fans he has, isn't "family-friendly". At least for now, Johnny Weir is essentially closeted. Isn't that what the Christofascist Zombie Brigade wants gay men to do?

Figure skating gave Scott Hamilton chances that most people who were sickly kids never got. He's universally regarded as one of the "good guys" of figure skating. Unless he steps up and demands that Johnny Weir be invited to participate, he no longer is.

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Anonymous tata said...
Does Scott Hamilton own or control this tour? Why does he bear greater responsibility than - say - Brian Boitano or Peggy Flemming or Evan Lysacek or any of us?

I missed something?

Blogger aaaack said...
Think that Johnny Weir is a victim of sexual profiling. By the way, Kim Yu-na's excellent choreographer also appears to be gay. Maybe Kim and Johnny should start their own tour.

Blogger Bob said...
Now, I suppose even Liberace, with his outrageous wardrobe, dancing fountains, & mild double entendres, would be considered too gay risque.

Anonymous mandt said...
Sponge Bob and Pinky are really, really, like, pissed off about this!

Blogger Jill said...
Actually, Scott Hamilton co-founded this tour with his agent, and he is currently producer. So yes, he does bear greater responsibility than other skaters.