BOICOT A LA COMAY Says That 8 Out of 12 Sponsors Have Canceled Ad $ Because of La Comay’s Anti-Black Comments [UPDATE]

Jun 16, 2020
12:18 PM

La Comay puppet character (played by Kobbo Santarrosa) with sidekick Rocky The Kid (Via Mega TV)

In response to a series of racist comments by Kobbo Santarrosa’s La Comay puppet character equating a prominent Afro Puerto Rican woman politician to a Black servant, organizers of the group calling on boycotting the show in Puerto Rico said on Tuesday that eight out of 12 current sponsors have already committed to canceling their ads.

According to the Boicot a La Comay (Boycott the Comay) Facebook page and human rights activist Pedro Julio Serrano, an eighth sponsor, Escuela Técnica de Electricidad, sent a letter to Spanish Broadcasting System —which owns Mega TV and Mega TV Puerto Rico (the networks that have broadcast a revamped “La Comay” show since 2019)— saying that it will stop advertising on the show.

The letter, published on Tuesday morning, said that Escuela Técnica de Electricidad would not support the words coming out of the show and its principal, Kobbo Santarrosa.

“No to violence. No to discrimination. No to racism. No to homophobia. Yes to equality,” the letter said in Spanish.

Over the course of 36 hours since Monday, seven other sponsors said that they will no longer advertise on the show, according to boycott organizers.

The following tweets from Serrano show news of the first six sponsors.

The following post by Boicot a La Comay said a seventh sponsor has bowed out:

Latino Rebels reached out to Mega TV Puerto Rico for comment to confirm if eight sponsors had indeed pulled their ads and money from the show.

According to Michelle Torres, who heads up public relations for Mega TV Puerto Rico as an independent contractor, the network does not have a statement to share at this time, since it is being discussed with the network’s legal team. When asked if the news of the eight sponsors was true or not, Torres said that she could not address that question at this moment.

Emails were also sent to employees of Mega TV Puerto Rico, including the network’s head of programming and head of sales. As of this posting, no employee of Mega TV Puerto Rico has responded to these emails.

Latino Rebels also contacted the main offices of Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), located in Miami. A receptionist told Latino Rebels that no member of the public relations team or leadership team is available for comment right now and that any requests should be sent via email because, according to the receptionist, nobody at SBS has work phone numbers due to work from home arrangements under the COVID-19 pandemic. Latino Rebels has sent several emails to several employees of SBS and has yet to receive a reply.

Last Friday, Santarrosa and his puppet character —whose then top-rated show was previously canceled in 2013 by WAPA TV after a successful boycott movement pressured advertisers to not sponsor the show due to Santarrosa’s history of racist, homophobic and yellow journalism tactics—  went on air to parody and mock Ana Irma Rivera Lassén as a Black servant. Rivera Lassén is an openly lesbian Black Puerto Rican woman who was the head of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association from 2012-2014 and leader in Puerto Rico’s Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC) party.

On Monday, Santarrosa went on air through the voice of his puppet character to apologize to Rivera Lassén if she felt she was offended. (She was.) The puppet also claimed that Santarrosa was not racist because his father was Black. In addition, La Comay claimed that the campaign against the show was part of a socialist plot organized by Puerto Rico’s militant left.

Examples of La Comay’s racist remarks are numerous, including the infamous “Yeyo” segment, when the puppet character compared Black Puerto Rican men to chimpanzees. This happened when La Comay was part of WAPA-TV before 2013.

UPDATE, 1:45pmET: The Comay’s Instagram page posted the following statement in Spanish (translation is by Latino Rebels)

“Our program asks for peace and calmness for all our viewers. We don’t want a boycott to happen against businesses. We have suffered months of an economic recession and our local businesses need each one of us,” the post said. “Let’s make peace. We don’t support or promote hate movements. Keep supporting local businesses. #LaComay #QueBochinche. Stay tuned for laughs a 5:55pm on megatvpr.”

Since the original publication of this story, Serrano tweeted out that two more businesses have canceled advertisements with La Comay, making 10 out of 16 sponsors who have stop their ads on the show.


Julio Ricardo Varela is founder and publisher of Latino Rebels, part of Futuro Media. He tweets from @julito77.