Tag Archives: name-calling

‘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.

‘Gay’ – in the negative way – regularly heard in grade schools

The most common form of biased language in elementary schools, heard regularly by both students and teachers, is the use of the word “gay” in a negative way.

That’s the finding of a new study from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. GLSEN released the study “Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States” on Jan. 18, the same day it released a safe-schools tool kit for elementary school educators.

The report, based on national surveys of 1,065 students in grades 3-6 and 1,099 elementary school teachers of kindergarten through sixth grade, examines experiences with biased remarks and bullying.

“School climate and victimization can affect students’ educational outcomes and personal development at every grade level,” said GLSEN executive director Eliza Byard. “‘Playgrounds and Prejudice’ offers invaluable insights into biased remarks and bullying in America’s elementary schools. The report also shows the need for elementary schools to do more to address issues of homophobia, gender expression and family diversity.”

The study found that 45 percent of elementary school students and 49 percent of elementary school teachers regularly hear “that’s so gay.”

The study also found:

• Twenty-six percent of students and teachers hear homophobic remarks such as “fag” and “lesbo” in grade school. Students at a similar percentage hear negative racial comments.

• Three-fourths of students report that students at their school are called names, made fun of or bullied with at least some regularity. Most commonly this is because of students’ looks or body size, followed by not being good at sports, how well they do at schoolwork, not conforming to traditional gender norms/roles or because other people think they’re gay.

• Seven in 10 students say they have learned about family diversity, but only two in 10 have learned about families with gay or lesbian parents.

• Nearly 90 percent of elementary school teachers surveyed said they include representations of different families in the classroom, but only 21 percent report representation of LGB parents and only 8 percent report representation of transgender parents.

• About 48 percent of teachers said they feel comfortable answering questions from students about LGB people and 41 percent are comfortable answering questions about transgender people.

Poll: young people feel free to use hate language online

Young people immersed in the online world are encountering racist and sexist slurs and other name-calling that probably would appall their parents and teachers. And most consider it no big deal, a new poll says.

Teens and twentysomethings say in an Associated Press-MTV poll that people feel freer to use hurtful language when texting on their cellphones or posting to sites like Facebook than they would face to face. Half the young people regularly see discriminatory slang – including racial taunts and words like “slut,” “fag” and “retard” – and the majority say they aren’t very offended by it.

Those surveyed are twice as likely to say biased slurs are used to be funny as they are to think that the user is expressing hateful feelings toward a group of people. Another popular reason: to sound cool.

‘They might be really serious, but you take it as a joke,” said Kervin Browner II, 20, a junior at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. He’s black but says the ugly words he sees are generally aimed at women, not minorities. And although Browner doesn’t like it, he doesn’t protest when his friends use those words on Twitter. “That’s just how it is,” he said. “People in their own minds, they think it’s cool.”

When the question is asked broadly, half of young people say using discriminatory words is wrong. But 54 percent think it’s OK to use them within their own circle of friends, because “I know we don’t mean it.” And they don’t worry much about whether the things they tap into their cellphones and laptops could reach a wider audience and get them into trouble.

Those who use slurs are probably offending more people than they realize, even within their own age range. The poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows a significant minority are upset by some pejoratives they encounter online, especially when they identify with the group being targeted.

“It’s so derogatory to women and demeaning, it just makes you feel gross,” Lori Pletka, 22, says about “slut” and more vulgar words aimed at women. The Southeast Missouri State University senior said she regularly sees other offensive terms, too –for black people, Hispanics and gays.

But even the most inflammatory racist slur in the AP-MTV poll – the “N-word” – didn’t rouse a majority of young people. Only 44 percent said they’d be very or extremely offended if they saw someone using it online or in a text message. Thirty-five percent said it wouldn’t bother them much, including fully 26 percent who wouldn’t be offended at all.

Among African-American youth, however, 60 percent said they would be offended by seeing the N-word used against someone.

Four in 10 young people overall said they encounter that word being used against other people, with half of those seeing it often.

Other derogatory expressions are more common and accepted. Majorities see “slut” and “fag” used against others, and only about a third consider them seriously offensive.

But 41 percent of women deem “slut” deeply offensive (jumping to 65 percent if it’s used against them specifically), compared with only 28 percent of men. And 39 percent of those who are gay or know someone who is gay are seriously offended by the use of “fag,” compared with 23 percent of all others.

Demeaning something with “that’s so gay” is so common that two-thirds of young people see it used, and the majority aren’t offended at all, despite a public-service ad campaign that tried to stamp out the anti-gay slang.

A similar effort by the Special Olympics and others to persuade kids not to use “retard” hasn’t hit home with half of those surveyed, who don’t find the word even moderately bothersome. Twenty-seven percent are seriously offended, however.

Some teens just text the way they talk. Calling each other “gay” and “retarded” is routine in high school, says Robert Leader, 17, a senior in Voorhees, N.J. So teens text it, too.

But constantly seeing ugly words on their electronic screens may have a coarsening effect. “It’s caused people to loosen their boundaries on what’s not acceptable,” Leader said.

What group gets picked on the most? Those who are overweight. And slurs against the overweight are more likely to be considered intentionally hurtful than slights against others; 47 percent say these comments are meant to sting.

Muslims and gays also are seen as targets of mean-spiritedness.

In contrast, only a third say discriminatory words about blacks are most often intended as hurtful, while two-thirds think they are mostly jokes. And 75 percent think slurs against women are generally meant to be funny.

That blasé attitude could lead them in trouble.

Four out of 10 young people have given little or no thought to the ease with which their electronic messages could be passed to people they didn’t expect to see them; less than a quarter have thought about it a lot. Two-thirds haven’t considered that what they type could get them in trouble with their parents or their school. But it happens.

A 13-year-old Concord, N.H., girl was suspended from school for posting on Facebook that she wished Osama bin Laden had killed her math teacher. The University of Texas Longhorns dismissed a sophomore football player for his racial slam against Barack Obama on Facebook after the 2008 presidential election. And a Harvard law student’s e-mail to friends, suggesting that blacks might be intellectually inferior, was forwarded across the Internet, prompting the law school dean to publicly denounce it.

“People have that false sense of security that they can say whatever they want online,” said Pletka of Cape Girardeau, Mo. “Anything that you put into print can be used.”

The AP-MTV poll was conducted Aug. 18-31 and involved online interviews with 1,355 people ages 14-24 nationwide. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The poll is part of an MTV campaign, “A Thin Line,” aiming to stop the spread of digital abuse.

The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks, which used traditional telephone and mail sampling methods to randomly recruit respondents. People selected who had no Internet access were given it for free.