The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has called out So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe for making what they deem homophobic remarks — both on the show and via Twitter — about a same-sex couple who served up a samba on Thursday's premiere.
After Misha Belfer (who is gay) and Mitchel Kibel (straight) performed at the Denver auditions, Lythgoe said, "It was a bit like watching ... Blades of Glory," a reference to the over-the-top Will Ferrell comedy about male skating partners.
"I think you probably alienate a lot of our audience," he continued. "I mean, we've always had the guys dance together on the show, but they've never really done it in each other's arms before."
Lythgoe went on to describe himself as "one of those people that likes to see guys be guys and girls be girls on stage."
He further riled GLAAD on Friday by saying on Twitter, "I'm not a fan of 'Brokeback Ballroom."
"It's unacceptable for this kind of blatant homophobia to occur" GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano responded in a statement. "Fox Entertainment and Nigel Lythgoe owe Misha, Mitchel and the whole LGBT community an apology."
One short storm of controversy and numerous tweets later, GLAAD got their mea culpa. "I wholeheartedly apologize for my 'Brokeback Ballroom' tweet," Lythgoe said. "It was insensitive, arrogant and stupid. I have upset a number of dear friends."
Similarly, Fox and the producers of So You Think You Can Dance issued this joint statement: "The judges critique auditioners and contestants on their overall performance, stage presence, technique and a wide range of characteristics.... We apologize if any viewers were offended by their remarks."