Johnny Weir Slams I,Tonya Movie: I Don't Like That We're 'Glamorizing' This 'Circus'
Two two-time Olympian figure skater Johnny Weir swung by PEOPLE Now on Tuesday where he sounded off on Tonya Harding and her biopic, I, Tonya
The new biopic I, Tonya — which explores figure skater Tonya Harding‘s life before, during and after the infamous 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan — has scored a ton of critical acclaim and awards season love.
But not everyone is a fan.
Take fellow figure skater and two-time Olympian Johnny Weir, for example.
During a visit to PEOPLE Now on Tuesday, Weir was asked about the film and didn’t hold back from condemning the way it treats Kerrigan’s attack.
“I don’t like that we’re almost accepting and glamorizing what Tonya Harding and her people conspired to do to a fellow athlete,” he said alongside BFF Tara Lipinski, who will join him this year as a commentator for NBC’s primetime figure skating coverage during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“Had it happened to one of us, it would have ruined our lives,” Weir, 33, continued. “I don’t like that we’re kind of accepting that this happened and treating it like this circus freak show that was. It was two very real people’s lives.”
Harding has long disputed how much she really knew about the assault on Kerrigan, which was organized by Harding’s first ex-husband and others — even though she pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution.
A U.S. Figure Skating investigation found she “had prior knowledge [of the attack] and was involved prior to the incident,” which she denied.
Still, reporting about her hardscrabble life and the domestic abuse she suffered complicated easy assumptions about Harding as a victim or perpetrator. With the release of I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie, Harding has stepped into her brightest spotlight in years. She accompanied Robbie on the red carpet, attending both the film’s premiere in December and this year’s Golden Globe Awards in January.
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Elsewhere in his chat, Weir told PEOPLE Now he felt the film told a false narrative that assumed Harding was the only athlete who rose from nothing.
“I didn’t grow up rich,” he said. “And Nancy Kerrigan herself was blue collar family outside of Boston. She’s portrayed often as this ice princess who had everything and Tonya had nothing. But you know, it’s everyone. It’s blue collar to fur collar in every sport. And that’s something I think everyone needs to remember.”
“It’s not right to try to take your competitor out,” he added. “You beat them on the field, you don’t beat them beforehand.”
The 2018 Winter Olympics will air live starting Feb. 8. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.