Juan Pablo Galavis, the first Latino bachelor on the hit ABC series The Bachelor, says gays are “pervert(ed)” and should not be on the reality series because it’s not appropriate viewing for children. A family, he says, consists of a husband, wife and children. His comments were made Friday during ABC’s Television Critics Tour, in response to a blogger’s queries.
The Bachelor‘s comments are not sitting well with many people. ABC officials released a statement Saturday, saying Galavis’s comments do not reflect the stance of the network. The Bachelor‘s comments are in no way to be construed as reflecting the opinions and views of the network and its employees.
Galavis’s statements could be seen as contradictory. First, he says he respects gays but then says having a gay person star in The Bachelor would be inappropriate for children to watch. The series is not a children’s show, and is inappropriate viewing for children of a certain age. Would Galavis himself want his five-year-old daughter Camila to watch the series, seeing how her father acts toward the women on The Bachelor? Judging by commercials of upcoming episodes, Galavis cavorts and kisses a lot of women, and there are plenty of tears and cursing stripping naked. What sort of message does this send to his beloved Camila?
Shortly after the heated response from many and ABC’s attempt to distant itself from the gay comments, Galavis, a 32-year-old former soccer star in Venezuela, issued an apology on Facebook, stating that his words were taken out of context. If viewers listen to the interview in its entirety, they will see he has nothing but love for gay people, as people close to him are gay and he loves having them in his life. What he meant to say was that gays in general tend to be more intense and affectionate, and The Bachelor, being as “racy” as it is, would be even more “racy” if a gay person were to be on the show. Galavis says he does not allow Camila to watch The Bachelor. It is known that Galavis’s native language is Spanish, and English his second, so he is not always clear when he speaks English. For Galavis, being on The Bachelor and to say gays are perverted, will viewers continue to view him the same way?
What could be confusing about the apology is that his other quotes seem pretty clear. Even if he used the word “pervert” in the wrong way, as he claims, what of his comment, “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.” One could glean from this statement that Galavis does not have a high opinion of two fathers raising children, because they sleep in the same bed?
And what of his comment that he was brought up seeing a husband, a wife and children? Being from Venezuela, cultural differences do come into play. Galavis comes from a country that is overwhelmingly Catholic, and the Catholic Church does not think highly of gay people.
Will Juan Pablo Galavis, The Bachelor, who says gays are perverted, be affected in the long term by his gay comments? It all depends on how well received his apology is.
By Juana Poareo