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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Manny Pacquiao Barred From 'Extra' Interview at the Grove After Bashing Gay Marriage in the US






[Update, 8:30 p.m.: 
Pacquiao is "not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future." Full statement on Page 2.]


[Update, 6:50 p.m.:
"We're canceling the event," says Grove spokesman Bill Reich. "Manny Pacquiao is not coming to the Grove." And thus the backlash begins.]


See also: "Ten Gays Who Could Beat the Crap Out of Manny Pacquiao."


Professional boxer Manny Pacquiao and "Extra" host Mario Lopez were blowing up Twitter today about their 3/3:30 p.m. interview at the Grove on Wednesday.


But mall executives tell LA Weekly that the event may be called off.


Pacquiao told the National Conservative Examiner over the weekend that gay men should be "put to death" for their sexual crimes. Yes, he was quoting Leviticus 20:13, but he hasn't backed down from his harsh stance during the negative media storm that has followed. And a post on the boxer's blog says that these are indeed "Manny Pacquiao's official feelings on the subject."


Meanwhile, mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, who owns the Grove, wants nothing to do with the bigotry.


When we called his corporate offices today, Caruso's people hadn't seen the Pacquiao quote. But when we read it back to Galit Shokrian, head of marketing and communications, she said that the Grove likely "wouldn't allow" Pacquiao to be interviewed on premises if he had indeed said such a thing.


Bill Reich, VP of corporate affairs for Caruso (and manager of the Extra account), called us immediately afterward. When we told him what Pacquiao said, Reich replied: "I got to figure this out. That's not good."


 Manny Pacquiao

@MannyPacquiao 
I hope you can make it to @TheGroveLA on Wednesday at 3:30 pm and see me interviewed by my friend @MarioLopezExtra. #PacBradley @trboxing
16 May 12  Reply Retweet Favorite


 Mario Lopez

@MarioLopezExtra 
Tomorrow @3pm my boy @MannyPacquiao will be @TheGroveLA ! We'll talk fights, politics, movies & maybe a little singing.. Come on by! #PacMan
16 May 12  Reply Retweet Favorite




There was also some confusion over Extra's official schedule. "We weren't even aware that he's showing up," said Shokrian. Extra's website has Lisa Marie Presley in the 3 p.m. slot.


Although Pacquiao hails from the very religious, conservative Phillipines, he lives and trains in Los Angeles -- an urban, forward-thinking haven for the gay community. For the sports star to announce that he thinks thousands of gay Angelenos should be "put to death" for loving a same-sex partner should hugely alienate him to the locals. Not to mention alienate him politically to President Obama and the United States, whose official gay-marriage stance recently switched to a big fat thumbs up.


One sarcastic Twitter user replied to Mario Lopez: "Since @MannyPacquiao likes to talk politics, might as well ask him why he thinks gay men should be killed."


Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, told LA Weekly earlier today that "American sponsors are going to have to look very carefully about whether they can continue to pour money into his apparently rather empty soul. Not only does [Pacquiao] live in L.A., he makes a lot of money thanks the United States and sponsors here in particular."


We'll post an update as soon as we know the official status of Pacquiao's interview at the Grove tomorrow. Will Caruso take a stand?


If the boxer does show up, we're thinking a mob of TV news cameras and angry LGBT activists may be there to greet him.



UP NEXT:

The Grove's statement in full, which suggests that Pacquiao is also barred from all future interviews at the L.A. mall.Below, the Grove's explanation as to why Pacquiao isn't welcome at its Fairfax campus. Ever. Again.


"Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao we have made it be known that he is not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future. The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance."
We wouldn't be surprised if this un-endorsement becomes the first of many. Pacquiao has an insane amount of high-profile athletic sponsors, including Hewlett-Packard and Hennessy, who probably don't want to align themselves with such extreme anti-gay sentiments.


Because... uh... "put to death"? You just don't say that kind of thing in 21st century America.


Re-Blog
source: blogs.laweekly.com

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