American television host Lara Spencer apologises on-air for mocking Prince George's love for ballet

An American television host who mocked Prince George's love of ballet has apologised live on air, admitting she "screwed up".

On Friday (local time), Good Morning America host Lara Spencer was discussing Prince George's curriculum as the royal lad returned to school after his summer break.

"In addition to the usual first or second-grade things like math, science and history, the future king of England will be putting down the Play-Doh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet, among other things," she said.

As she said "ballet", the audience began to laugh. Spencer doubled down on the amusement by saying: "Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you Prince William, we'll see how long that lasts."

The comments received widespread criticism, including from dancers who called them insensitive and said they could put boys off pursuing a career in dance.

While Spencer apologised soon after on her Instagram, she's now done an on-air apology.

"I screwed up, I did. The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid, and I am deeply sorry," she said.

A video of Spencer speaking with three male dancers was then played, with the dancers telling her of the difficulties they have had in challenging perceptions around men in dance.

"I just wish people would be more openminded and understand what others are doing," said Fabrice Calmels, a principal dancer for the Joffrey Ballet.

"Boys just drop because of the social stigma around the floor. Children should be entitled to experience things without being bullied."

Broadway star Robbie Fairchild said he will never forget when a bunch of boys saw him at a dancing class when he was a child.

"[They were] pointing and laughing through the window. I can't tell you how much that hurts."

Spencer said the lesson for her was that "words hurt".

"It was not my intention, but it was insensitive."

While some in the Twitter comments accepted her apology, others said it didn't seem genuine.

"That's nice, but this was absolutely damaging to young men out there, and there's no taking that back," said one person on Twitter, while another tweeted: "Her apology was forced. She should be fired."