It is Day 4 since #BoicotLaComay was launched in response to comments about dead publicist José Enrique Gómez that were made by "La Comay," the puppet host of Puerto Rico's highest-rated show, WAPA-TV's "SuperXclusivo." And the momentum to get the show off the air continues to grow.
Here are just a few of the latest developments:
- Adios, AT&T: Today, AT&T joined the growing list of advertisers that has canceled sponsorship of the show. According to reports, WAPA is losing money at a weekly rate of $1.3 million. This is what an AT&T employee posted on Facebook:
"AT&T directs advertising to programming that we believe our customer base views. We continually monitor the content of programming in order to gauge its impact on customer buying decisions as well as to determine if the programming is appropriate. As a result, since December 5th we have not advertised in this particular program and our media plan does not contemplate additional advertising."
- Ricky Martin Joins In: Today Puerto Rican legend Ricky Martin (he of the millions of Twitter followers) tweeted support of the Comay Boycott a few hours ago:
#PUERTORICO Recuerda cambiar el canal. No a la censura y si al boicot.
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) December 7, 2012
- Puppet Actor Apologizes and Nobody Cares: Today actor Kobo Santarrosa, who portrays La Comay on the show, offered a standard, "if I offended anyone, I am sorry" apology that was as sincere as a politician trying to avert a growing avalanche of momentum against him. The creator of the Boicot a La Comay Facebook page (which is now over 62,000 likes in just four days) called Santarrosa's apology a case of being "too little too late." Santarrosa has a history of apologizing for controversial comments he has made before on the show, but it looks like this, the boycott movement is not putting up with it. At this stage, the goal of the group is to get the show canceled. And according to their posts, the show has already lost 4 ratings points (from 29 to 25) in just three days. And it virtually has no sponsors. And no new sponsors are showing up.
- #TodosSomosJoseEnrique Goes Global: In the meantime, ABC News is dubbing the entire social media movement "The Boricua Winter:"
A Facebook group has grown by 50,000 fans in under 24 hours. Thousands have posted pictures of themselves with the now-popular phrase "Todos somos José Enrique," which translates to "We are all José Enrique," and many thousands more have tweeted messages of anger, sadness, and solidarity after the brutal murder of a publicist brought the Caribbean island's crime crisis to center stage.
The wave of murders, which peaked at over 1,000 deaths in 2011 alone, is attributed to a range of problems — including the encroachment of the drug trade, police corruption, failing schools, a dismal economy, a crippling brain drain, and a high unemployment rate.
Last week, after four suspects reportedly forced Jose Enrique Gómez to withdraw 400 dollars from a parking lot ATM in Caguas, Puerto Rico, they drove half an hour southwest to Cayey, doused Gómez in gasoline, beat him, and set him on fire.
For many Puerto Ricans, the murder was a tipping point. With diverse leadership and with varied targets, the new grassroots movements all seek to fix the nation's crime problem by way of social media.
"I knew there would be a moment when we would say 'Stop it already. Enough is enough,'" said filmmaker Carlitos Ruiz Ruiz, who is one of the organizers of a social media-based vigil to take place around the world this coming Saturday. "And this is that moment."
It looks like "that moment" is indeed happening in Puerto Rico. And this weekend, a global awareness event for Gómez is beginning to go viral on Facebook.