Juan Pablo Galavis
The star of American reality show The Bachelor is in hot water for saying that he doesn’t approve of a gay version of the show because gay people are “perverted”.
Juan Pablo Galavis, a former Venezuelan soccer star who appears in the most recent season of the series, told The TV Page that when it comes to a gay or bisexual The Bachelor, “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV”.
He went on to say that same-sex parents sleeping in the same bed would be “confusing” to children and that while “you have to respect everybody’s desires and way of living… [a gay The Bachelor] would be too hard for TV”.
He added that gay people are “more pervert in a sense”.
The comments were met with outrage, leading Galavis to issue an apology. He insisted that he has many close gay friends and that his comments were taken out of context. He also blamed his poor choice of words on the fact that English is not his first language.
“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,” Galavis said.
He was also rebuked by the ABC network, which is behind the show. “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,” it said in a statement.
Critics have pointed out that the star of a reality show in which women compete for his hand in marriage is in no position to offer a credible viewpoint on marriage and relationship values.