What was just five seconds of air time on a major network has turned into a social media campaign within 48 hours among the Puerto Rican social network. Just days after the ABC sitcom "Work It" premiered, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the Latino blogosphere have been buzzing about a toss-away joke that equates Puerto Ricans to drug dealers.
In case you missed it, this clip from "Work It" (a lame, unfunny Bosom Buddies rip-off that has already been panned by critics) will give you some context.
We have already shared our initial reactions to the joke, which was delivered by the character of Angel, portrayed by Puerto Rican actor Amaury Nolasco. Like we said last night, we are giving the show the benefit of the doubt, since we think that what might have been a sarcastic joke in written form became a lame and offensive joke when it was recorded.
Nonetheless, a grassroots movement out of New York City was immediately formed through social media and a small group of protesters stood in front of ABC's offices in New York City, demanding that ABC apologize. According to Julio Pabón, one of the campaign's organizers, the local New York affiliate WABC-TV has already apologized, but nothing has come out from the national network.
"We want apology from the network, who are the ones responsible for the airing of the show," Pabón said. "We have not heard from them yet."
Pabón will be appearing tomorrow morning with Rhina Valentín at 10 am on Bronx cable to discuss next steps, but he did tell us tonight that the group will be meeting with other community leaders to promote a formal response from elected officials. The group is also planning to demonstrate again next Thursday night, January 12, in front of ABC's offices. To watch the show online, you can click here: BronxNet Streaming (Select Channel 67/33 on home page.)
Also today, El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico's largest newspaper covered the story on END.com and reported that US Rep. José Serrano and Rep. Nydia Velázquez are demanding an apology from ABC.
"This is unacceptable," Velázquez wrote in a statement. "ABC owes an apology."
The END.com article had received over 1,000 comments today before the newspaper closed commenting on their story.