Three-time U.S. Champion and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir confirmed on March 12 that he will be excluded from the 2010 ‘Stars on Ice Tour’ because the organization deemed him “not family friendly.”
“I’ve never been invited to do ‘Stars on Ice’ before, which is the only figure skating tour in the U.S.,” said Weir. “It’s disappointing that I can’t perform for my American fans… all because I’m not ‘family friendly’ enough.”
Weir suffered constant attacks during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver because of his perceived sexual orientation and gender expression. One Canadian sports commentator even suggested that Weir should undergo gender verification testing.
The ‘Stars on Ice’ decision is yet another example of the bias Weir faces simply for being who he is. For the organization to suggest that Weir is “not family friendly” because of his outspoken style and/or gender expression is both outrageous and offensive.
Signing this letter tells ‘Stars on Ice’ that excluding Johnny Weir from its 2010 tour because he is “not family friendly” is unacceptable.
Contact information for 'Stars on Ice' and Smuckers (a corporate sponsor of 'Stars on Ice'):
Jennifer Cosgrove, Spokesperson ‘Stars on Ice'
(201) 760-0200 Ext. 107
Maribeth Badertscher, Director of Corporate Communications, Smuckers
To suggest that Weir’s gender expression and style deem him unsuitable for family audiences is both outrageous and offensive.
Weir is a formidable and decorated athlete who is also immensely devoted to his own family. His gender expression has no place in your selection process.
By rejecting Weir from the 2010 ‘Stars on Ice’ lineup, your organization sends the message that discrimination on the basis of perceived sexual orientation and gender expression is OK.