They ‘need a good slap’: Paris Opera Ballet fires superstar dancer for anti-gay comments
The world of ballet – all pumps and pirouettes – might not seem like the most macho one, but Sergei Polunin disagrees. The Ukrainian-born hotshot was fired by the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet last weekend for a social-media rant, in which he called his effeminate male colleagues an “embarrassment” and told them to “man up.”
The 29-year-old said, in an Instagram post last month (spelling and grammar from the original post have been retained):
To all men who is doing ballet there is already ballerina on stage don't need to be two. Man should be a man and woman should be a woman, that's the reason you got balls
"Females now trying to take on the man role because you don't f*ck them and because you are an embarrassment," he continued. "Man are wolves, are lions. Man are the leaders of the family,” he added, saying that gay dancers “need a good slap.”
Polunin did not directly address the dancers’ sexuality, instead attacking “weak” men uninterested in their female co-stars.
Nevertheless, the Paris Opera Ballet dropped Polunin from its upcoming production of ‘Swan Lake,’ AFP reported. Artistic director Aurelie Dupont called Polunin a “talented artist,” but said his Instagram pontifications went against the company’s values.
Regarded as one of the most skilled dancers of his generation, Polunin ironically broke into the mainstream after he starred in a video dancing along to Irish singer Hozier’s 2015 hit ‘Take Me To Church.’ The song’s original video featured a gay couple running from persecution and culminates with the two men kissing before one is dragged to his death.
The ballet star has also courted controversy for his collection of tattoos, including a Slavic symbol that resembles a reverse swastika, and a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin on his chest. Born in Crimea, Polunin attained Russian citizenship late last year and regularly takes to Instagram to voice his support for Putin and love for Russia.
“As a kid growing up I have seen light in him and still now, I see light when I see him,” Polunin wrote of Putin. “Vladimir will be always protected by my energy and Love. Let’s treat everyone with Love that’s how you change this world for the better.”
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These two days in Munchen were wonderful! Thanks so much to everyone who was there, and special thanks to Igor Zelensky, Ballet Director of the @bay_staatsballett! Credit: Serghei Gherciu Эти два дня выступлений в Мюнхене были прекрасны! Спасибо всем, кто пришёл, и отдельное спасибо Игорю Зеленскому, художественному руководителю Баварского государственного балета! Фото: Serghei Gherciu
Polunin’s open admissions of drug and alcohol use have rankled the world of classical ballet but, despite the controversy, the tattooed troublemaker has landed roles in Hollywood blockbusters ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and ‘Red Sparrow,’ where he acted opposite Jennifer Lawrence. Polunin is also due to appear in a production of ‘Raymonda’ at the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich this weekend.
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