2ND UPDATE: The damage control tour by The Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis continues with another apology, this time to the gay community through GLAAD. He also will be meeting with LGBT Latinos next week:
I have heard from many gay Latinos today who are hurt because of what I said and I apologize. I know gay parents and I support them and their families. They are good parents and loving families. I am a father and I know the feel of being a father, why wouldn’t I want my gay friends to also be happy parents? I also want gay and lesbian youth to know that it is fine to be who you are. Gay or straight, Black or White, Latin or American, what matters here is to respect who we are.
UPDATE, 1 PM: ABC, Warner Horizon and The Bachelor executive producers just issued a statement slamming Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis’ statements that gay people are “pervert” and shouldn’t be allowed to be on The Bachelor. “Juan Pablo’s comments were careless, thoughtless and insensitive, and in no way reflect the views of the network, the show’s producers or studio,” the statement read. It mirrors A&E Network’s reaction to Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s controversial comments about gays — but the network and producers stopped short of reprimanding Galavis, a move that created a backlash for A&E, which suspended and then un-suspended Robertson. In the case of The Bachelor, all episodes of Galavis’ season have already been shot with the exception of the Women Tell All and After The Final Rose specials. It is unclear if ABC will proceed with them as planned. Galavis also issued a statement on Facebook, apologizing for his comments and insisting that they were taken out of context. He blamed the use of word “pervert” in reference to gay people on English being his second language and professed his “respect for Gay people and their families.” You can read his full statement under the post.
PREVIOUS 10:20 AM: It’s been what, a month, since the star of a hit reality show made controversial comments about gay people? Cue Juan Pablo Galavis, the popular star of the current cycle of ABC‘s The Bachelor. In an interview with TVPage at ABC’s TCA party last night, the single dad and a former Venezuelan soccer player was asked whether it would be a good idea to have a gay Bachelor. He was firmly against it. “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m mistaken or not, I have a lot of friends like that, but (gays) are more pervert [sic] in a sense, and to me the show will be too strong, too hard to watch on TV.” It remains to be seen what Galavis’ gay friends as well as ABC and The Bachelor producer Warner Horizon will say about those comments. While not as incendiary as last month’s statements by Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s juggernaut Duck Dynasty, Galavis’ stance on the sensitive topic is sure to raise eyebrows and could be damaging to the show. The Bachelor, which already has grappled with accusations of racism for its casting choices, is very female skewing, and some viewers may be put off by Galavis’ comments. The controversy comes as The Bachelor is running high, with Galavis as one of its most popular stars in awhile. He has reinvigorated the franchise, and ABC has been airing Bachelor specials in addition to the regular episodes. Just yesterday, the network added two more hours of The Bachelor. Following the Duck Dynasty controversy, the ratings for the hugely popular series went down. We will see if Galavis’ comments would have a similar impact.
Like with Robertson, it seems that Galavis’ position is rooted deeply in his beliefs. “Obviously people have their husband and wife and kids and that is how we are brought up,” he said. “Now there is fathers having kids and all that, and it is hard for me to understand that too in the sense of a household having peoples, two parents sleeping in the same bed and the kid going into bed. It is confusing in a sense. But I respect them because they want to have kids. They want to be parents.”
I want to apologize to all the people I may have offended because of my comments on having a Gay or Bisexual Bachelor. The comment was taken out of context. If you listen to the entire interview, there’s nothing but respect for Gay people and their families. I have many gay friends and one of my closest friends who’s like a brother has been a constant in my life especially during the past 5 months. The word pervert was not what I meant to say and I am very sorry about it. Everyone knows English is my second language and my vocabulary is not as broad as it is in Spanish and, because of this, sometimes I use the wrong words to express myself. What I meant to say was that gay people are more affectionate and intense and for a segment of the TV audience this would be too racy to accept. The show is very racy as it is and I don’t let my 5 year old daughter watch it. Once again, I’m sorry for how my words were taken. I would never disrespect anyone.