Nigel Lythgoe has apologized to GLAAD and his Twitter followers after making comments against a same-sex dance pair on Thursday night's So You Think You Can Dance premiere.
The judge sparked outrage -- including a boycott campaign from GLAAD -- after he told male partners Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel: "I think you will probably alienate a lot of our audience. 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."
After the show, he posted on Twitter: "The same-sex ballroom guys did remind me of Blades of Glory. However, I'm not a fan of Brokeback ballroom."
On Saturday, Lythgoe said: "I sincerely regret the fact that I have upset people with the poor word choices and comments I made both during the taping of the So You Think You Can Dance audition and on my personal status update. I am not homophobic and it was extremely upsetting for me to be classed as such.
"I have been forthright and consistent with my opinion, as a judge, that professional male dancers should move with strength and agility -- like Gene Kelly and Rudolph Nureyev. I now realize how this could be misconstrued.
"I have been a dancer, and involved in the dance world, for nearly 50 years. Professionally and personally, I believe the sexual orientation of an auditioner or contestant is irrelevant. All that said, the fact that I have unintentionally upset people is distressing to me and it is obvious I have made mistakes that I must learn from. I trust that my humor will be more sensitive and mindful moving forward."
He also posted on Twitter: "I wholeheartedly apologize for my Brokeback Ballroom Tweet. It was insensitive, ignorant and stupid. I have upset a number of dear friends."
GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano responded: "We certainly appreciate the dialogue, and the opportunity for Nigel to help further educate people about how words and images matter. His sincere words are appreciated, and we look forward to words, images and representations of the LGBT community on So You Think You Can Dance that will be fair, accurate and inclusive in the future."
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