ABC’s Puerto Rican Drug Dealer “Joke” Fiasco Spreads Through Social Media and Community

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 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 article had received over 1,000 comments today before the newspaper closed commenting on their story.

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Tell Us What You Think!
jlop28vislophis says:

Why does Puerto Rico have a higher voter turnout than USA?
Puerto Ricans have a voter
turnout of about 80%.  The United States (US) citizens have a voter
turnout of about 50%.  What accounts for this 30 %
disparity? Could it be that Puerto Rican believe in democracy
more than US mainland citizens?
Puerto Rico is a colony of
the United States since 1898.  Since that time, Puerto Ricans who have
wanted to decolonize their country have been either assassinated or
imprisoned.  Many Puerto Ricans are terrified of independence for Puerto
Rico as a result of 116 years of repression.
Since colonialism is always
for exploitation, there are no opportunities in Puerto Rico for Puerto
Ricans.  That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans out, than in Puerto
Rico.  Therefore, Puerto Ricans are desperate to find a political solution
to our eternal colonialism!  
Most Puerto Ricans believe
that decolonization can be achieved through the electoral process.  But
the electoral process is ultimately under the control of the government of the
United States.  Since the US government has ignored 33 United Nations
resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and it has
maintained incarcerated Puerto Rico political prisoner Oscar López Rivera for
33 years despite worldwide support to free him, there should be no doubt that
the US government will never allow decolonization via the electoral
process.  If it were possible to do it that way, we would not have it!
The better way to decolonize is for that 80% of the Puerto Rico voter
turnout to instead protest in the streets to demand our inalienable right
to self-determination and independence, and insist that the UN do the
decolonization in conformity to international law.  After all, colonialism
is within the jurisdiction of international law and never under national
law.  That is why it is a crime against humanity to have a colony
under international law, but not so under US law. 
José M López

jlop28vislophis says:

Dear Partner,
Since the United Nations determined in 1960 that colonialism
is a crime against humanity, there is no longer a need for plebiscites. The solution is to give Puerto Rico her
But being the United States government does not want to, it
continues to advocate the use of plebiscites to find out what Puerto Ricans
want.Even if 100% of Puerto Ricans
would want to continue being a US colony, Puerto Rico would still be obligated
to accept her sovereignty to then decide what she wants to do.
The only thing these plebiscites are good for is to divide
Puerto Ricans.A Puerto Rican didn’t
invade us to make us a colony.When will
we understand that we need to unite?
This is why we must peacefully protest at least 3 times a
year until Puerto Rico is decolonized!
José M
López Sierra