ABC’s Juan Pablo Problem: Will Viewers Boycott After 'The Bachelor' Star’s Anti-Gay Comments?

Looks like Juan Pablo Galavis is in Hot Water—and it Doesn’t Involve a Hot Tub

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ABC’s Juan Pablo Problem: Will Viewers Boycott After 'The Bachelor' Star’s Anti-Gay Comments?
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(Juan Pablo)

How do you solve a problem like Juan Pablo? ABC bigwigs are undoubtedly trying to figure that out after the star of the current cycle of "The Bachelor" said some not-so-rosy things in a recorded interview smack in the middle of the network's heavily plugged "Juan-uary."

Not only did "Bachelor" Juan Pablo Galavis tell The TV Page that he's against having an openly gay or bisexual lead on the ABC reality romance show, but he described homosexuals as "more pervert in a sense." The 32-year-old single dad added, "I don't think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV."

JP's comments came during a network party for the hit reality romance show, where he went on (and on and on, apparently) about his non-straight stance, while making it known that he's not homophobic because, well, he has gay friends.

In the rambling exchange, the former Venezuelan soccer pro said, "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 in a sense."

He also said he respects same sex couples, but added, "I don't know if I'm mistaken or not, I have a lot of friends like that, but (gays) are more pervert in a sense, and to me the show will be too strong, too hard to watch on TV."

Bachelor Nation took to Twitter to express their anger over Juan Pablo's insensitive remarks, with one irate commenter tweeting: "Shocking! The Bachelor Juan Pablo actually makes that Duck Dynasty guy look like a forward thinker #equality."

But unlike A&E's "Duck Dynasty" -- which wasn't in production when reality star Phil Robertson made his own headline-making homophobic remarks -- "The Bachelor" season has just started. That means the viewing audience will have the final say in how this plays out for the long-running reality show.

While the network and studio Warner Horizon issued a swift statement saying, "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", it may not be enough to satisfy angry viewers. Or former "Bachelor" contestants.

Krisily Kennedy, who was a runner-up on season 7 of "The Bachelor," tweeted, "Never missed a season of the bachelor & won't be watching this 1 can't get behind someone that thinks me having kids sets a bad example." Kennedy revealed she was bisexual in 2011.

Juan Pablo issued issued his own explanation for the controversial quotes via Facebook, saying his comments were taken out of context and adding: "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."

Speaking of accepting, with damage control in full swing, we're thinking Juan Pablo's next question may be: "Will you accept this … apology?"

"The Bachelor" Season 18 airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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