The star of ABC’s “The Bachelor” made anti-gay comments that drew a swift rebuke from the network and an apology from the bachelor himself on Saturday.
Juan Pablo Galavis told website The TV Page that he didn’t think a gay or bisexual bachelor would set a good example for kids. Galavis also told the site Friday that gays were more “pervert, in a sense,” adding that he could be mistaken.
On Saturday, Galavis posted an apology on his Facebook page, saying he respects gay people, has gay friends, including one “who’s like a brother,” and regrets using the word “pervert.” Galavis blamed that latter word choice on the fact that English is his second language, after Spanish.
“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,” the single dad from Miami wrote online.
In apologizing to those he may have offended, Galavis said his remarks were taken out of context and the full interview posted online by The TV Page demonstrates his respect for gay people and their families.
In a statement, ABC called his comments “careless, thoughtless and insensitive” and not representative of those of the network, the show’s producers or the studio. “The Bachelor” returned Jan. 6 for its 18th edition.
Galavis was unavailable for comment Saturday, ABC said.
He is the second reality TV star to draw recent attention over anti-gay comments. A&E briefly suspended “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson after he labeled gays as sinners in a GQ magazine interview and contended that African-Americans were happy under Jim Crow laws.
Supporters of Robertson’s right to voice his opinions rose to his defense before the network reinstated him. Unlike Galavis, Robertson did not publicly clarify or apologize for his comments.
ABC declined to comment on whether Galavis would face any action for his remarks or whether the show would address them on a “Bachelor” episode.
“Duck Dynasty” returned for its fifth season Wednesday, and the ratings weren’t a clear indicator of any fallout from the flap: The audience of 8.5 million viewers was slightly larger than that watching the fourth-season finale, but it was smaller than the 12 million who watched the fourth-season premiere.