#BoicotLaComay Is Back: An Open Letter to SBS and @MegaTVLive

With reports that La Comay and “SuperXclusivo” might be finding a new home with Miami’s Mega TV (owned by the Spanish Broadcasting System) after being dropped from Puerto Rico’s WAPA TV, tonight the Boicot La Comay Facebook page published the following open letter:

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Dear SBS Executive Officers and Board of Directors,

Your current mission statement states that “As a pioneer in Spanish-language radio, SBS has always been at the forefront of the evolution of Hispanic entertainment in the U.S.” As you may be aware, the show SuperXclusivo has been canceled and will no longer reside at WAPA-TV, which is currently owned by InterMedia Partners, LP. The puppeteer, Kobbo Santarrosa, resigned when he couldn’t come to an agreement with his current management team due to some recent changes forced on him to improve the quality of the programming.

Santarrosa has a long history of making racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist and bullying remarks during his show, which are no longer acceptable to the Puerto Rican community. This has been a long time breach of part of his contract which includes a clause that prohibits talent on the network from “tortuous, illegal, obscene, offensive or distasteful remarks or conduct in connection with the shows.”

Some of the highlights include calling black individuals “monkeys,” attacks against other Hispanic communities (like Dominicans and Mexicans) for being “illegals”, homophobic attacks using words like “pato” and “maricón” (i.e. “faggot”), etc.

The changes that forced his resignation were prompted by an unprecedented social media movement that in less than a month had gotten support from over 80,000 voices in Twitter and Facebook.

This campaign successfully got advertisers of national and local importance to retire their support – creating significant economic hardship for WAPA-TV. Names like WalMart, Coca Cola, Goya, Ford, Chrysler, AT&T and Sprint – notice how even competitors cooperated with the boycott campaign – not only retired their advertising dollars, but gave solid statements of commitment to better quality programming and a strong social commitment on their part against hate speech.

We have heard the disturbing news that MegaTV or SBS may consider picking up a version of Santarrosa’s show. As the parent company of MegaTV, we implore that you stay true to your quality statement of staying at the forefront of the evolution of Hispanic entertainment and adhere to our new standards. The Puerto Rican people have evolved to no longer accept Santarrosa’s abuse, behavior and conduct and we ask that you respect our wishes.

Certainly, the Hispanic community’s leadership in the USA has expressed it support – Congresspeople Luis Gutiérrez and Nydia Velázquez among them, as well as artists of the ranking in our community of Ricky Martin and René Pérez of Calle 13.

Please understand that we are ready to continue the fight against Kobbo Santarrosa in your forum should you wish to give him one. The advertisers who supported the boycott will not support SBS if they choose to ignore this voice against hate speech. Santarrosa is not a man of his word – he was given many opportunities by WAPA-TV in the past to modify his behavior and he ignored all of them.

Thus, if SBS is betting on a reformed Santarrosa, it must understand this is not possible. His track record of unprofessional behavior, insubordination and all around ill-behavior are reason enough to show this decision by SBS would have a net negative effect it what aspires to be a major player in the exploding Hispanic media market.

We look forward to your understanding and support in this matter.

Sincerely,

Carlos Rivera, founder Boicot La Comay – on behalf of our members.

Here is more information about SBS:

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#NoMames: Five Reasons Why Bud Light Phoenix’s “Mexican Beer Belly” Meme Fails

Sometimes when it comes to social media and the constant perceived pressure by brands to go “viral,” the end result can be perplexing, and you can have your fans just shaking their heads. Take, for example, the Facebook page of Bud Light Phoenix. Now we won’t get into the local history of the Hensley Company, the Phoenix Anheuser-Busch distributor headed up by Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy Hensley McCain, and the owner behind the Spanish-language Facebook page, which is geared to the city’s Latino demographic. Let’s just focus on what the page posted today:

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With a status update that says, “The person who does not have a beer belly, has never enjoyed life,” Facebook fans of the page are greeted with a meme of a really humongous guy chilling with a beer (is it even a Bud Light?) resting on his really humongously gross beer belly. The caption suggest that this flipping huge beer belly would make a great cooler.

Now, the meme is not even one that the BLP page created itself. It comes from another site (say hi to the guy!):

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Talk about being creative. So what does this meme fail? Here are five reasons:

  1. Does a major brand really think that sharing a half-naked fat Mexican guy who isn’t even drinking your own beer is a good idea? Mind you, when we saw the Facebook post, we were in the middle of having lunch. It wasn’t a pretty scene.
  2. Yes, we get it. You are trying to be “edgy” and “funny” and “viral.” Not edgy. Not funny. Not viral.
  3. Oh yeah, you can only be called a real Bud Light drinker if you are a fat Mexican loser. Hey, fatties, get those beer bellies nice and big with Bud Light!
  4. What is the post trying to communicate? We would understand the post better if it showed up on pages that actually do this type of content all the time, but this is a major brand we’re talking about. We doubt such an image would show up on those types of pages. That is why it was so jarring. Social media lessons, anyone?
  5. Does Bud Light Phoenix truly know its Facebook audience? Does it know that its demographic is very likely going to be a combination of people, those who might see this as funny (and so far, that is not the case), and those who will just think it is unfunny and lame? In the end, it was just another contrived way to get more viral hits, and from the looks of it, it didn’t happen, and the brand comes across as cheap and insensitive.

Here’s an idea: how about an actual picture of, well, let us think, a real person in Phoenix enjoying a real Bud Light? Was that too difficult to conjure up at the last social media meeting?

Brands that try really hard to be funny, generally fail. Beer Belly Fat Mexican Guy was just another example.

CNN en Español Covers MTV’s “Washington Heights” Show and Addresses Controversy

This week the fabulous María Santana of CNN en Español (btw, our jefe still owes her a Boston Cream Pie for losing a Super Bowl bet last year) filed a report about MTV’s “Washington Heights,” a show that has gotten both praise and criticism.

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Here is what the cast had to tell María.

First of all, it was GREAT to see part of the cast speaking in Spanish, so much so, that we think that is one opportunity for the show to improve. A bilingual reality show on MTV? That would get our attention.

Also, the CNN piece does a good job summarizing the show and the issues surrounding it, but we tend to side with those from the Washington Heights neighborhood who think it could have done a better job. The “authenticity” of the show is not that it has to be more “Dominican,” it just has to be more “real.” Like we said, imagine if the actors could be more like they are in the CNN piece? Now that would at least give the show a bit more of a different focus. Instead, that type of “realness” doesn’t truly fit the MTV formula. That is why we have lost interest in the show, after catching the first few episodes.

We are all for positive portrayals of Latinos on TV, since the opportunities are so few and far between, but what is “real” and what is “manufactured reality” is still an issue for the show. We still think that it is the “manufactured reality” that has gotten more attention so far.

But maybe that will change. Or maybe not.

VIDEO: “An Open Letter to Barack Obama: I Ain’t Mad at You” by The Peace Poets

Here’s a song we got late last night. It’s from The Peace Poets, New York-based group that uses “music and poetry in our collective struggle for justice.”

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The Peace Poets published the video this week. It is an open letter to President Obama, and it’s called “I Ain’t Mad at You.” We do think they express the views of many people of color who still believe that the President needs to step up his game. Give it a listen and tell us what you think.