Juan Pablo Galavis, the star of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” apologized for making anti-gay comments at an ABC party at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Friday.
Galavis posted an apology on his Facebook page stating that he never meant to say anything against gay people or bisexuals, and instead that he only meant to say that they are too “affectionate and intense” for television, and blamed his weak grasp of English for the misunderstanding.
“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," Galavis wrote on his Facebook page.
"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.”
According to reports, Galavis' anti-gay comments were in response to a question from a reporter on The TV Page, who had asked him at the network party: “Do you think it would be good at some point to have a gay or bisexual bachelor?”
Galavis replied saying: “I respect them, honestly I don’t think it’s a good example for kids to watch that on TV.” He added: “There’s this thing about gay people. It seems to me, you know, and I don’t know if I’m mistaken or not. I have a lot of friends like that, but they’re more pervert in a sense and to me the show will be too strong, too hard to watch on TV.”
ABC and producers of “The Bachelor” reportedly issued a statement on Saturday, addressing Galavis’ comments about gays: “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.”
According to reports, Galavis spoke to GLAAD, also known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, saying: “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.”
He added: “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.”
Reportedly, Galavis will be meeting LGBT latinos and their families this week in Los Angeles along with Monica Trasandes, GLAAD’s director of Spanish-language and Latino media, along with GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz, who played TV’s first gay teen on ABC’s “My So-Called Life.”
Trasandes responded to Galavis’ apology saying: “At a time when Latino support for gay and lesbian people and our families is growing, we look forward to continuing the conversation with Juan Pablo and working with him to help educate his fans about who gay and lesbian parents are.”
The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, which conducts independent research on sexual orientation, has found that an estimated 1.4 million or 4.3 percent of Latino men and women identify as LGBT and 29 percent of Latino same-sex couples have children.