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
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 2322 GMT (0722 HKT)
Is ballet dying? CNN spoke with Isabella Boylston, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, about the future of the art form.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 2147 GMT (0547 HKT)
Sally Kohn says it's time we take climate change as seriously as we do warfare in the Middle East
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Dean Obeidallah says an Oklahoma state representative's hateful remarks were rightfully condemned by religious leaders..
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1922 GMT (0322 HKT)
No matter how much planning has gone into U.S. military plans to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Arab public isn't convinced that anything will change, says Geneive Abdo
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)
President Obama's strategy for destroying ISIS seems to depend on a volley of air strikes. That won't be enough, says Haider Mullick.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Paul Begala says Hillary Clinton has plenty of good reasons not to jump into the 2016 race now
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)
Scotland decided to trust its 16-year-olds to vote in the biggest question in its history. Americans, in contrast, don't even trust theirs to help pick the county sheriff. Who's right?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0157 GMT (0957 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says spanking is an acceptable form of disciplining a child, as long as you follow the rules.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says the foiled Australian plot shows ISIS is working diligently to taunt the U.S. and its allies.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1958 GMT (0358 HKT)
Young U.S. voters by and large just do not see the midterm elections offering legitimate choices because, in their eyes, Congress has proven to be largely ineffectual, and worse uncaring, argues John Della Volpe
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT)
Steven Holmes says spanking, a practice that is ingrained in our culture, accomplishes nothing positive and causes harm.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Sally Kohn says America tried "Cowboy Adventurism" as a foreign policy strategy; it failed. So why try it again?
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
Van Jones says the video of John Crawford III, who was shot by a police officer in Walmart, should be released.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
NASA will need to embrace new entrants and promote a lot more competition in future, argues Newt Gingrich.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 2315 GMT (0715 HKT)
If U.S. wants to see real change in Iraq and Syria, it will have to empower moderate forces, says Fouad Siniora.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Mark O'Mara says there are basic rules to follow when interacting with law enforcement: respect their authority.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Congress has rebuked the NFL on domestic violence issue, but why not a federal judge?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Mel Robbins says the only person you can legally hit in the United States is a child. That's wrong.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
Eric Liu says seeing many friends fight so hard for same-sex marriage rights made him appreciate marriage.
ADVERTISEMENT