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