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Manny Pacquiao: Shoppers surprised by boxer's ban from the Grove

May 16, 2012 |  1:18 pm


In a parking lot near the Grove mall Wednesday, shoppers and workers said they were surprised that boxer Manny Pacquiao was barred from taping a TV interview at the shopping center after making negative comments about gay marriage.

Although it turned out Pacquiao was partially misquoted, he did say he is against gay marriage, and the ban was still in place as of Wednesday afternoon. He had been scheduled to tape an interview there Wednesday with the "Extra" TV show.

Grant Pearson, 23, of Indianapolis, who is in L.A. while visiting relatives in California, said, "I don't feel it’s right to make that decision of who can or cannot be here.”

“I feel that if he would have come here to the Grove and said it out loud, where a lot of people hear him, that may be different," Pearson said. "But he said it outside the Grove. I don’t even know where. That’s his freedom of speech and he should not be banned for something like that.”

A woman in her 20s who works as a sales associate at the Grove said she did not understand the reasoning behind the ban.

“In the end, it’s a public space for shopping,” said the woman, who refused to give her name because she works at the mall and was not authorized to speak on the matter. “I would think someone could say something about gay marriage -- I’m not even sure ‘Extra’ would have asked him about it -- so I’m not sure what their reasoning was.”

Ruth Mizel, 52, who lives across the street from the Grove and comes often said, “I only know Manny because he advertises a casino on TV.”

“I don’t necessarily agree with what this boxer said," Mizel said. "I hate boxing. I don’t think I would ever go to see him. But it’s a public space. It’s that man’s opinion; he’s entitled to it.”

She said she supports gay rights, but "this man is entitled to his views."

"And the Grove is entitled to what they want to do, I guess," she said. "Maybe they thought people would be offended if he came here. Maybe they thought it would affect their business.”

Robert Sefter, 29, who lives in West Hollywood, said, “Personally, I am in favor of gay rights and gay marriage but, as a private entity, I think the Grove has the right to determine who can and cannot perform here.”


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-- Rosanna Xia near the Grove