PASADENA, Calif. — ABC faced a potential crisis Saturday over one of its longest-running hits when a controversy erupted over homophobic comments made by the star of the reality series “The Bachelor.”
In an interview at a media party, Juan Pablo Galavis, the latest bachelor tasked with picking a possible mate from among 25 women, told the editor of the website The TV Page that he was opposed to the idea of ABC producing a season of the show with a gay bachelor.
Among other reasons, he said: “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV.” Of gay relationships, he added: “They are more pervert, in a sense.” (Galavis’ primary language is Spanish.)
He was among some ABC stars who turned up for cocktails Friday night at a gathering of the Television Critics Association. He spoke with Sean Daly, editor of The TV Page, who asked for his opinion on a gay version of the popular reality series. Daly posted a recording of the interview on his site.
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The reaction to Galavis’ remarks was quick and critical, with numerous reporters and commenters on Twitter denouncing them both as insensitive and, especially, inappropriate, given that Galavis is participating in a show that compels him to engage in romantic encounters with multiple women.
ABC and the studio that produces “The Bachelor,” Warner Bros., issued a statement Saturday: “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.”
Galavis posted an apology on his Facebook page Saturday. “I want to apologize to all the people I may have offended because of my comments,” he wrote. “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 five 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.”
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.
ABC declined to comment on whether Galavis would face any action for his remarks.