(NEW YORK) -- Juan Pablo Galavis, the former Venezuelan soccer player who is the current star of The Bachelor, apologized on Saturday for his controversial comments on homosexuality, which he said were taken out of context and only happened because English is his second language.
The single dad told a reporter during an interview at a “network party” to promote the show that having a gay bachelor on the hit ABC reality show would be “too hard to watch.”
In a post on his Facebook page, Galavis said 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,” he said. “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 controversial remarks came when Galavis was asked by The TV Page whether it would be a good idea to have a gay or bisexual bachelor.
“No,” he said. “Honestly I don’t think it’s a good example for kids to watch that on TV. It’s hard … It’s a very thin line,” he said.
Galavis said he had gay friends and co-workers, but that it was still hard for him to understand same-sex parenting in one household.
“I have a lot of friends who are gay, but they’re more pervert in a sense,” he said.
On Saturday he said that was not what he intended to say.
“The word pervert was not what I meant to say and I am very sorry about it,” he said. “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. The show is very racy as it is and I don’t let my 5 year old daughter watch it. Once again, I’m sorry for how my words were taken. I would never disrespect anyone.”
Galavis’ comments come just weeks after Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s controversial homophobic comments in an interview with GQ magazine.
After being suspended by the show’s network A&E, Robertson was quickly reinstated following strong backlash from the show’s millions of fans. A&E is owned by ABC’s parent company, The Walt Disney Company.
ABC and the executive producers of The Bachelor released a short statement on Galavis comments.
“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,” the statement said.
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