Tag Archives: anti-gay remarks

‘Bachelor’ star apologizes for anti-gay comments

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 over the weekend.

Juan Pablo Galavis told The TV Page website that he didn’t think a gay or bisexual bachelor would set a good example for kids. Galavis also told the site that gays were more “pervert, in a sense,” adding that he could be mistaken.

Over the weekend, 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, 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 released a follow-up statement through GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

“I have heard from many gay Latinos today who are hurt because of what I said and I apologize,” he said. “I know gay parents and I support them and their families. They are good parents and loving families.”

On his Facebook page, Galavis identifies himself as a sports and music consultant who was U.S.-born and raised in Venezuela.

He said he wants gay and lesbian youth “to know that it is fine to be who you are,” adding that he plans to meet with gay and lesbian families so they “know that I’m on their side” in rejecting discrimination.

Monica Trasandes, GLAAD’s director of Spanish-language and Latino media, said the group looks forward to working with Galavis in Los Angeles this week to “help educate his fans about who gay and lesbian parents are.”

“Study after study shows that young people raised by gay parents are as happy and healthy as other young people,” Trasandes 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.

Unlike Galavis, Robertson did not publicly clarify or apologize for his comments.

“Duck Dynasty” returned for its fifth season last 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.

The “Bachelor” debut episode drew 8.6 million viewers to rank No. 22 among prime-time series for the week, according to Nielsen company figures.

Indiana teacher suspended over anti-gay remarks

An Indiana school district reeling from the uproar over a teacher’s comments that she believes gays have no purpose in life suspended the woman on Feb. 20.

Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County issued a statement saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave out of concern “for the safety and security of everyone in our buildings.” He added that “as a precaution” the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police “have deemed it necessary to station an officer” at North Central Junior-Senior High School in Farmersburg, about 75 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

He said the “administration and one school employee in particular” at the school have received “aggressive email messages.”

“We are turning over to law enforcement all such communications,” Baker said.

The superintendent did not identify the teacher, but special education teacher Diana Medley’s comments have circulated widely on social networking sites amid news coverage in nearby Sullivan of a non-school sanctioned prom that would ban gay students. Sullivan, a city of about 4,200, is near the Illinois border.

“I just … I don’t understand it,” Medley said when asked whether gays have a purpose in life. She was speaking to WTWO-TV of Terre Haute at a planning meeting earlier this month for the anti-gay dance.

Medley, who has no published telephone number, couldn’t be reached for comment. She didn’t immediately respond to a message that The Associated Press sent to her school email account.

“As many of you know and appreciate, our school corporation is continuing to manage as responsibly and respectfully as possible the fallout from comments made by an employee as she attended a meeting outside of school or a school activity,” Baker said. “We have conveyed our disappointment and our disagreement with these statements and have emphasized her comments do not reflect our schools’ views or opinions.”

As of Feb. 20, a petition on Change.org calling for Medley’s dismissal had generated more than 19,500 signatures from as far away as the United Kingdom, and a Facebook page supporting a prom that includes all students had more than 28,000 likes. Meanwhile, some gay rights groups are trying to bolster the confidence of gay teens with a Facebook page that will collect supportive videos.