Well, Johnny Weir has responded to the critics of his fox fur-adorned costume that he wore at the U.S. National skating championships a few weeks ago. And, true to form, Weir says whatever the heck he pleases.
The group Friends of Animals posted an open letter to Weir asking him to stop wearing fur. According to Yahoo! Sports, "Foxes are electrocuted or beaten, and their pelts are obtained by skinning the animals alive, said Anai Rhoads, spokeswoman for the group."
Here's how Weir responds:
“I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it’s not something that’s the No. 1 priority in my life,” Weir said on Tuesday. “There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti.
“I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it’s my choice.”
Er...is it just me or does it sound like Weir is trying to manipulate the listener into thinking that people are attacking him for caring more about human suffering than animal suffering? He then goes on to to say that every skater wears skates made of cow. I think maybe this was one of those situations where he might have just chosen to not respond. The anti-fur groups are going to take advantage of any occasion when a celebrity wears fur in public to get attention, and as it's Weir's prerogative to wear fur, there's not really any reason to respond. UPDATED: On second thought, if he hadn't responded in such a way, it might have let the issue die a lot more quickly. This way, he has essentially flipped off the anti-fur groups, which will garner him a lot more attention and a lot more of the 'Johnny bein' Johnny' headlines. I assume he expected criticism on the fur issue decision going into nationals (he mentioned the fact that there was fur on his costume so many times that I lost count).
Weir was also unhappy that the group contacted his costume designer.
My concern on the fur flap is that it's yet another aspect of Weir that's going to overshadow his skating. And if he skates the way he skated in his free skate at Nationals when he gets to the Olympics, then the fur will be the most memorable part of his program...which will be unfortunate.
No word yet from Jeremy Abbott on the situation.