Next Thursday, Logo TV will premiere its dating show Finding Prince Charming — or as the internet has taken to calling it, Gay Bachelor. Unfortunately, that launch is currently mired in a PR nightmare as execs try to deal with the revelations that “Prince Charming” Robert Sepulveda Jr. once worked as an escort.
According to TheWrap, Logo was “blindsided” by the news, as internet blogs uncovered Sepulveda’s Rentboy.com profile and images and videos of him minus clothing. (Particularly troubling are rumors that he might have discriminated against African American clients.)
“The network didn’t find out until well into production,” a source told TheWrap. They added that Logo followed “standard protocol” and that “nothing came up during the background check.”
“To call him ‘Prince Charming’ is a little reckless,” AIDS activist Tyler Curry told TheWrap. He also cautioned against “shaming” those who have previously been sex workers.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Sepulveda said, “The past is the past. I was young and it helped through college.” Instead, he wants viewers to “focus on is who I am today as an entrepreneur, as an activist.”
However, in an op-ed for Vulture, E. Alex Jung said that Sepulveda and Logo shouldn’t shy away from his past, writing that “Finding Prince Charming wants to have it both ways.”
“They wanted a bachelor who looked like a porn star to activate the trashy, libidinal desires of gay men, but they didn’t want him to talk about it once they realize he might actually have been one,” Jung wrote. “It’s the Madonna/whore complex, but for gay men.”
Logo, for its part, issued a statement that completely ignored the controversy.
“‘Finding Prince Charming’ is a reality series about 13 people looking for Mr. Right,” a Logo spokesperson said. “As in real life, the show will cover a range of topics people face when dating, from first time love to coming to terms with one’s past, fear of commitment and even HIV. We look forward to taking viewers on a journey of the human spirit in search of love.”
Finding Prince Charming premieres next Thursday, September 8. Watch the trailer below:
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