Skater Johnny Weir ‘Not Family Friendly,’ Too Gay for Stars on Ice?

March 12, 2010

(ChattahBox)— Is he, or isn’t he, gay? That’s a question that many have wondered and even asked figure skater Johnny Weir outright. But the fashion-loving and highly-entertaining flamboyant champion figure skater, is not about to pigeonhole himself, as a “gay” skater. He rightly wants his artistry and performances to speak for themselves. In 2006, Weir said, “I don’t feel the need to express my sexual being because it’s not part of my sport and it’s private.” But apparently his flamboyance is considered inappropriate for the family audiences of the Stars on Ice Tour. According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Weir has not been invited to participate in the popular ice show, because he is “not family friendly.”

Johnny Weir, enjoys a huge and devoted fan base. His entertaining and technically admired skating performances have earned Weir, 25, a slew of medals and accomplishments, including three U.S. National championships, a Worlds bronze medal and two appearances at the Olympics, where he placed fifth and sixth respectively. And the fashionista and Lady Gaga-loving Weir was rightly awarded with an annual stint, touring with Champions on Ice from 2004-2007, until the ice show went out of business. Now, the only ice show left is the Smucker’s Stars on Ice Tour.

According to its Web site, the Smucker’s Stars on Ice Tour, was founded and is produced by Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton. And the ice tour showcases “the world’s best figure skaters at the top of their form.”

And Weir, an extremely popular and talented award-winning skater, has never been invited to participate. The LGBT community believes Weir is a victim of homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination, and they may be right.

The report by GLAAD cited an anonymous source, attributing the “not family friendly” comment to the sponsors of Stars on Ice, including Smuckers and IMG Entertainment:

“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?”’

The site Out Sports, which reports on gay athletes, noted that they have not been able to verify the claim made by GLAAD’s anonymous source, but acknowledges that the whole affair reeks of bigotry and prejudice:

“Still, it doesn’t look good. Weir is arguably the biggest figure-skating personality in the country, and his fans follow him everywhere. It’s hard to believe the reason behind the snub is the Tour’s bottom line, so there’s got to be another reason.”

The skaters participating at this year’s Smucker’s Stars on Ice Tour, include teammate and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen, an Olympic silver medalist, who no longer competes, Todd Eldredge, a world champion, Michael Weiss, a three-time national champion and Jeremy Abbott, a two-time national champion.

Does Johnny Weir belong with the skaters appearing on the 2010 Stars on Ice Tour? Yes he does. So, why hasn’t he been asked?

Representatives of the Smuckers Stars on Ice Tour have not commented on the allegations and neither has Johnny Weir.

GLAAD has a petition for Johnny Weir supporters to sign, urging Stars on Ice to include him on the tour.

Photo Source: ESPN


Comments

9 Responses to “Skater Johnny Weir ‘Not Family Friendly,’ Too Gay for Stars on Ice?”

  1. Mxmas on March 12th, 2010 5:51 pm

    If Johnny Weir is good enough to compete for his country at the Olympic Games, then he is good enough to perform at their little ice show. If Smucker’s is truly leaving him out for the rumored reason, I won’t be supporting their products again.

  2. Sandra on March 12th, 2010 9:26 pm

    I love Johnny Weir – I have never been a fan of figure skating until I saw him skate. I would definately buy tickets to see him skate!!!

  3. Jeremy on March 13th, 2010 1:31 am

    we’re in a society where we can’t breathe without offending someone. so who gives a care that he’s not part of a show. WAAH WAAH WAAH! GROW UP! GLAAD needs to mind their own business. Johnny probably doesn’t even care that he’s not been asked to be a part of the show.

  4. Lee Ann on March 13th, 2010 12:36 pm

    I haven’t attended an ice show since childhood, but if Johnny Weir would appear at the Stars on Ice tour, I would be first in line to buy tickets. He is a true artist, and brings an elegance to his performances that is missing in others’ routines. I couldn’t care less about his sexual orientation, and find it hard to believe that it would even be an issue to anyone whatsoever. He would be a huge star attraction, and the producers are ignorant/ridiculous if they don’t have him as a feature star in the tour!!

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  7. neal on March 17th, 2010 10:34 am

    The point is not if Johnny Weir wants to be in that homophobic corn-fest or not. It’s that this country is full of paranoid bigots who hate diversity and stupidly think that kids are actually in danger of becoming gay if they see a gay person. Can you get more ignorant than that? What kids are in danger of when they see Johnny Weir and Adam Lambert is accepting other people and not being bigots. And that scares their ignorant redneck parents.

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  9. Lance on April 16th, 2011 3:51 pm

    I think that Jeremy, who responded above, needs to follow his own advice and “mind his own business”!

    Jeremy should understand that fugure skaters perform at competitions all over the world AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE! They pay their own way for air fares, equipment, accomodations (for them AND their coaches, choreographers, and other necessary entourage members) in order to compete at OLYMPIC EVENTS and other competitive events all over the world. The way they support themselves and obtain the money needed for these expenses is via private and commercial sponsors and through PAID GIGS at ice shows such as Smucker’s STARS ON ICE!

    Without paid gigs such as Smucker’s STARS ON ICE, skaters such as Weir will not be able to afford to travel all over the world to compete and win medals and represent their country in these non-paying skating events!

    So, while Weir may not personally give a SMUCK for Smucker’s, their products, or their corporate mentality, he does very much desperately need the income that comes from performing in such a quality show. Sadly, since the only other major ice show in the USA has gone out of business, Smucker’s STARS ON ICE is the ONLY remaining quality ice show left in the USA, therefore it is the ONLY chance that Weir has to make money to support his competitive career in Ice Skating!

    So, Jeremy, who gives a SMUCK what YOU think, with your “WAAH WAAH WAAH” nasty comments? You need to understand a little bit before you should go off making your nasty UNNECESSARY and ILL-INFORMED COMMENTS!

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