Finally, Some Respect!

I have noticed the last few TV appearances I’ve seen Johnny Weir make he seems to be getting treated with a little more respect. Finally! His second appearance on Joy Behar last week, for example.  Not that he was treated disrespectfully during the first appearance he made on her show; but it just seems like last week it was different.  His appearance on the George Lopez show last week would be another example.  I understand he is back on George Lopez Thursday 3/25, but I’m not positive.

And tonight (3/22) on Jay Leno, Jay treated him with respect, and made a point to mention how he put his brother through school (which Johnny DID do), and that his father is disabled and he is also helping the family out. Like Jay said, what’s more family friendly than that?  Or as Johnny said, what’s more family friendly than how he was raised? Yes, Johnny is flamboyant, and outspoken, and exposed more than the average figure skater; however, how come so few people remember to mention how good and close he is with his family?  Probably it is partly because, though Johnny will acknowledge he helps his family, he will also acknowledge how people have helped him, and he won’t brag about how much he does for his family.  He’ll tell you what they do for him.

Even Charles Barkley, who was also a guest on Leno tonight (3/22) treated Johnny with respect. Of course JW treated him respectfully also. It’s about freakin’ time!

As far as the ‘Stars On Ice’ thing, Johnny said on Joy Behar that he has never been invited to do that tour and did not expect to be asked this time either.  He also mentioned he used to do the Champions On Ice tour, which unfortunately for us fans and a lot of skaters, folded a few years ago.  Johnny is leaving Saturday to do some shows in Russia.  He will come back to the United States and so a show in Chicago, I believe. 

The saddest thing about the demise of the Champions On Ice tour is that we do not get the opportunity any more to see most of the skaters we watch on televsion.  This also means most of us will not have the opportunity to see Johnny Weir skate in the United States, because Stars On Ice is the only major tour left in the United States.  I am hoping that with the men’s Olympic Champion being an American, and Johnny being an American and so popular around the world that we will see more skating in the United States in the next few years.  Maybe fans like me will then have our chance(s) to see Johnny Weir (and others) skate live in the United States. 



Scotty, Johnny Weir and Stars On Ice

The more I think about this whole thing with Johnny Weir and the Stars On Ice tour, the more I wish GLAAD would shut
the heck up.  They really are not doing Johnny Weir any favors with these accusations, or with this petition they are
promoting.  They don’t seem to actually respect a lot of the people they are purporting to be trying to ‘help’.  Johnny
Weir did not ask for their help, and he probably does not want their help.
As much as I love Johnny Weir and his skating, and as much as I would love the opportunity to see him skate in person;
I’m not sure I really would want to see him involved with Stars On Ice.  I just don’t like the way they do business, even
though several skaters I am a fan of either are part of this tour now, or have been part of it in the past.  My favorite
Brian Boitano was involved with Stars On Ice only twice even though they made several offers to him over the years.
The first time was when he took part in a performance welcoming his friend Scott Hamilton back to the ice after battling
cancer; and the other was when he took part in a tribute to Sergei Grinkov a few days after his sudden death at age
twenty eight. 
I would seriously love to ask Scott Hamilton what exactly is the real reason Johnny Weir has not been asked to join
Stars On Ice.  His answer would greatly influence whether I had any respect for him left at the end of the day.   I would
hope I would not hear from him any excuse even remotely connected to what GLAAD is claiming to be the reason.  I
really hope that I am correct in my assessment that Scott Hamilton is not like that, and that is not his way of thinking. 
I think the argument the tour can not take everyone is certainly valid.  They can not.  There just is not enough room. 
However, Stars On Ice has many long term skaters that were not nearly as popular as Weir is when the tour signed
them up.  How can a for profit group seriously state with a straight face they aren’t signing up one of the world’s most
popular skaters because there’s not enough room on the tour?  Even at Scott Hamilton’s age, with as long as he has
been around, he could still command an audience to a degree few, if any, other skaters in the world can do.  Guess
who one of the other few skaters who can do that is?  You guessed it, Johnny Weir.  I would really hate to find out that
Scott Hamilton did not want a skater on his tour he felt could or would upstage him.  I would be truly disappointed
if that were the case.
If Stars On Ice (and Scott Hamilton) do not want to sign Johnny Weir or anyone else for that matter, up for their tour,
that’s fine.  They are perfectly within their rights to sign, or to not sign, any skater they choose.  What is important in
this case especially is why they did not sign a skater for their tour.  ‘There wasn’t enough room’ just does not make any
sense in the case of Johnny Weir.  The only way I, and many others, could have any respect for Stars On Ice at this point
is for them to provide an explanation that is truthful and makes sense.  
Frankly, at this point, even if Stars On Ice showed up on his doorstep begging for him to join the tour, I hope Johnny
Weir would tell them to stuff it. 

No Johnny Weir in Stars On Ice tour

I’m not completely convinced the GLAAD people are right about this, but I’m not positive they’re wrong either. After
all, Weir is one of the most popular skaters with fans all over the world. He has survived financially and been able to
keep skating due in no small part to the shows he does in Europe and Asia. The SOI people are correct when they
say they can’t take everyone. No, they can’t. However, SOI did a lot to help put other tours out of business. Years
ago they effectively ended Boitano and Witt’s tour, for exp, by buying their tour dates and locations out from under
them. COI is now kaput (and many skaters survived financially primarily due to this tour), and about the only other
tour left is Disney on Ice, a tour that really has no place for star skaters of Weir’s caliber; along with a few limited
and one off shows like Brian Boitano’s Holiday Spectacular and Kristi Yamaguchi’s yearly show. I have never been
a fan of SOI due to their business practices, and this article certainly does nothing to change that.  I really hope at
this point that Weir is able to put his own show together.  A big tour is probably neither practical nor prudent;
however, a show with limited performances put together by and showcasing Johnny Weir would be a possibility, and
also many skating fans only opportunity to see Weir skate live in the United States.

I knew Weir was helping out his family, and I did know about his brother. I didn’t know his father was disabled. His

mom Patti always talks about what a wonderful son she has, and JW has said numerous times what terrific parents

he had/has and how they gave he and his brother the freedom they needed as they grew up. As flamboyant and

obnoxious as he can occasionally be, and Johnny does admit he brings some of the things said about him on himself;

there’s not a doubt he is an intelligent, decent, caring person who does a lot for his family and for charity.  There are

a lot of things he is a VERY good example for.  It’s unfortunate so few people are willing to look beyond the labels

they have attached to him and notice those things.

Sometimes I just want to give Johnny Weir a really big hug!

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