By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated May 24, 2009 at 08:17 PM EDT

So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe has issued an apology for remarking during this week’s season premiere that same-sex ballroom couple Misha Belfer and Mitch Kiber “probably alienate a lot of our audience.” During his critique, he’d also told them, ”I’d like to see you both dancing with a girl… You never know, you might enjoy it, too.” After GLAAD took notice, Lythgoe said he regrets the “poor word choices,” adding, “I am not homophobic and it was extremely upsetting for me to beclassed as such.” His statement goes on to say:

“I have been forthright and consistent with myopinion, as a judge, that professional male dancers should move withstrength and agility — like Gene Kelly and Rudolph Nureyev. I nowrealize how this could be misconstrued.

“I have been a dancer, and involved in the danceworld, for nearly 50 years. Professionally and personally, I believethe sexual orientation of an auditioner or contestant is irrelevant.All that said, the fact that I have unintentionally upset people isdistressing to me and it is obvious I have made mistakes that I mustlearn from. I trust that my humor will be more sensitive and mindfulmoving forward.”