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