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Homophobic rant costs dancer lead role in Paris Opera Ballet production

Homophobic rant costs dancer lead role in Paris Opera Ballet production

Ballet dancer Sergei Polunin

The Paris Opera Ballet has rescinded their offer to Ukranian dancer Sergei Polunin to perform the lead in their upcoming production of Swan Lake due to homophobic comments made by Polunin.

Artistic director of the ballet, Aurélie Dupont, made the announcement on Monday (14 January) morning.

The ballet also tweeted out the news.

Paris Opera Ballet's tweet about Sergei Polunin
Paris Opera Ballet’s tweet about Polunin | Photo: Twitter @operadeparis

According to the Telegraph, the production cast Polunin as Prince Siegried, which he was supposed to play the character as a ‘repressed homosexual’.

What did the dancer say?

Polunin, 29, who has a tattoo of Vladimir Putin on his chest, is known as the ‘bad boy of ballet’. In 2012, he left the London Royal Ballet, saying he felt ‘tricked’ into the life of doing ballet.

Now, he’s making headlines again for comments made in an Instagram post last month.

In the post, made on 29 December, he talks about gender in the ballet world and how male dancers need to ‘man up’.

Sergei Polunin's Instagram post getting him in hot water
Polunin’s Instagram post getting him in hot water | Photo: Instagram @sergeipolunin

‘Man up to all men who is doing ballet,’ the post [edited for grammar and clarity] begins. ‘There is already ballerina on stage don’t need to be two.’

He goes on to write that ‘man should be a man and woman should be a woman’. He believes this applies to both in and outside the ballet world.

Polunin also shares his opinion that women are ‘trying [to] take on the man role because you don’t fuck them and because you are an embarrassment’.

He ends his post with the idea that ‘men are the leaders of there’s [sic] family’ and ‘suppose to take care of everything’, comparing them to wolves, lions, and warriors. Without this role, he states that men are ‘weak’.

Polunin has not yet addressed the Paris Opera Ballet’s decision, but a day ago, he made another Instagram post about doing everything ‘with love’ and that we are ‘all exactly the same’.

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