Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage from

'Bachelor' anti-gay remark doesn't speak for Latinos

By Ruben Navarrette, CNN Contributor
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1922 GMT (0322 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ruben Navarrette says new Latino 'Bachelor' made anti-gay comments in interview
  • He said that gays more 'pervert.' Has he watched his own show, Navarrette asks?
  • Navarrette: For someone from a group discriminated against to discriminate himself is ironic
  • Navarrette: 'Bachelor''s homophobic comments don't speak for Latinos

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter @rubennavarrette.

(CNN) -- The Bachelor sounds like a bigot.

According to TheTVPage.com, Juan Pablo Galavis -- the former Venezuelan soccer player, who is now romancing 27 young ladies on ABC's hit reality show, "The Bachelor" -- has some strong opinions about gays. In response to a question at a network party, on Friday Galavis told the website's editor, Sean Daly that he didn't think it would be good for the show to feature a bachelor who was gay or bisexual. The conversation was recorded.

The problem isn't what he said about the show. He has an opinion, and he's entitled to it. The problem is what comes next: Where he explains his reasons for feeling this way. He starts off by saying, "I don't think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV."

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Ruben Navarrette Jr.

A good example for kids? Has Galavis ever watched the show he's on? You have 27 young ladies backstabbing and preening and scheming to get close to a bachelor and get a red rose, and, they hope -- an engagement ring. Along the way, they proclaim that they've fallen madly in love with and want to spend the rest of their lives with this person they've known for all of 45 minutes, when what they want most is to beat out the other women and win the contest. Is this a good example for kids?

To be fair, in his apology, which Galavis posted later on his Facebook page, he noted: "The show is very racy as it is and I don't let my 5-year-old daughter watch it."

But in his conversation with Daly, Galavis' comments about gays got worse.

He went on:

"Obviously people have their husband and wife and kids and that is how we are brought up. Now there is fathers having kids and all that, and it is hard for me to understand that too in the sense of a household having peoples. ... Two parents sleeping in the same bed and the kid going into bed. ... It is confusing."

Finally, Galavis said, "there's this thing about gay people ... it seems to me, and I don't know if I'm mistaken or not ... but they're more 'pervert' in a sense. And to me the show would be too strong ... too hard to watch."

Ick! This is too hard to listen to. What's more "pervert" -- romancing and smooth-talking a couple dozen women, in and out of hot tubs, or a loving and monogamous same-sex relationship?

According to TVGuide.com, ABC said this in a statement:

"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."

And here is some added irony. The first openly anti-gay "Bachelor" also happens to be the first Latino "Bachelor."

What a shocker. Those of us who are part of this community know all too well that it is still infected with too much homophobia. It's hypocritical for anyone in a group that is forever insisting that the rest of society not only tolerate but celebrate that which makes them different (i.e., culture and language) would then attack another group for being different.

Finally, Galavis' statement of contrition Saturday on Facebook also left something to be desired. He said this:

"I want to apologize to all the people I may have offended because of my comments on having a Gay or Bisexual Bachelor. The comment was taken out of context. If you listen to the entire interview, there's nothing but respect for Gay people and their families. 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 5 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. 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. ... Once again, I'm sorry for how my words were taken. I would never disrespect anyone."

Sure, compadre. In the end what else is there to do but play the "I-don't-speak-English-so-good" card?

Dear ABC: My English is good. So, as a U.S.-born Latino, let me be clear: This guy doesn't represent me, or reflect what I believe or what I'm about. Having him on your network isn't going to make me any more likely to tune in or buy stuff I don't need from advertisers. It just makes me embarrassed.

By the way, if one of my three kids turns out to be gay, I'd love them and accept them all the same. On the other hand, if any of them ever goes on this dreadful show of yours, they are out of the will.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook.com/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 2047 GMT (0447 HKT)
Jim Bell says NASA's latest discovery support the notion that habitable worlds are probably common in the galaxy.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1817 GMT (0217 HKT)
Jay Parini says even the Gospels skip the actual Resurrection and are sketchy on the appearances that followed.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1752 GMT (0152 HKT)
Graham Allison says if an unchecked and emboldened Russia foments conflict in a nation like Latvia, a NATO member, the West would have to defend it.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
John Sutter: Bad news, guys -- the pangolin we adopted is missing.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
Ben Wildavsky says we need a better way to determine whether colleges are turning out graduates with superior education and abilities.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
Charles Maclin, program manager working on the search and recovery of Malaysia Flight 370, explains how it works.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Jill Koyama says Michael Bloomberg is right to tackle gun violence, but we need to go beyond piecemeal state legislation.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1845 GMT (0245 HKT)
Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts say Americans are ready for sensible gun laws, but politicians are cowed by the NRA. Everytown for Gun Safety will prove the NRA is not that powerful.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says Steve Israel is right: Some Republicans encourage anti-Latino prejudice. But that kind of bias is not limited to the GOP.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2323 GMT (0723 HKT)
Peggy Drexler counts the ways Phyllis Schlafly's argument that lower pay for women helps them nab a husband is ridiculous.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1642 GMT (0042 HKT)
Rick McGahey says Rep. Paul Ryan is signaling his presidential ambitions by appealing to hard core Republican values
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT)
Paul Saffo says current Google Glasses are doomed to become eBay collectibles, but they are only the leading edge of a surge in wearable tech that will change our lives
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
Kathleen Blee says the KKK and white power or neo-Nazi groups give haters the purpose and urgency to use violence.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman say read deep, and you'll see the federal Keystone pipeline report spells out the pipeline is bad news
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says President Obama needs to stop making empty threats against Russia and consider other options
ADVERTISEMENT