The Paris Opera Ballet has fired its lead dancer after he launched into a homophobic rant on Instagram telling his fellow dancers to “man up.”
Sergei Polunin, considered one of the top male dancers of his generation, was due to star as Seigfried in the Paris Opera Ballet’s staging of Swan Lake, but the Opera Ballet has officially withdrawn the invitation upon learning of his social media antics.
Compte tenu des propos publics tenus par Sergei Polunin, Aurélie Dupont, Directrice de la danse, a pris la décision de ne plus inviter l’artiste.
Ces propos n’étant pas en adéquation avec ses valeurs et celles de l’Institution.
— Opéra de Paris (@operadeparis) January 14, 2019
Aurélie Dupont, the artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, announced that Polunin would no longer appear with the company. In an internal email, DuPont wrote that while she “recognized Mr. Polunin’s talent, she had discovered public statements that had shocked her, and which didn’t correspond to her values or to those of the institution she represents.”
The decision came after Polunin’s incendiary Instagram post disparaging his fellow male dancers.
“Man up 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. Masculine and Feminine energies creates balance. That’s a reason you got balls. Same think Outside ballet, Man what’s wrong with you?,” he wrote in a post dated December 29, 2018.
He added: “Females now trying take on the man role because you don’t fuck them and because you are an embarrassment. Man are wolfs man Are lions man are the leaders of there’s family you suppose to take care of everything ! What happen? Stop being weak be a man be a warrior what’s wrong with you??? No respect for you, life will beat you down put you on your knees and wash you out. need a good slap to wake you up Unbelievable!!!”
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The backlash was swift — from Instagram…
bold of sergei polunin to be openly fascist and homophobic when the greatest male ballet dancer was gay and a soviet union defector
— ximena (@llucyboynton) January 12, 2019
I love Sergei Polunin's dancing, and his work in the "Take Me To Church" video by Dave La Chappelle remains one of the most poignant and beautiful I've seen.
But I can't support and follow a dancer who says things like that about people like me. I just can't. He is those ideas.
— Aleksei Valentín ✡️♿ (@ai_valentin) January 11, 2019
#sergeipolunin sniffed some stardust, got delusional, mixed things up in his tattoos and his public statements, and lost his job at Opera de @operadeparis. Don't be like #sergeipolunin, use your brain. Also outside ballet.
— Julia Eygin (@Waltzing_Tomato) January 15, 2019
Polunin has made headlines for strange behavior before and raised eyebrows back in November when he revealed he’d gotten a tattoo of Russian President Vladimir Putin on his chest. (He has showered Putin with effusive praise more than once.)
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Polunin has not released a statement on this most recent controversy, but there’s not much he can say, is there?