Puerto Rico’s leading current affairs show SuperXclusivo is hosted by a puppet, but recent comments by the character have lead to a backlash from viewers.
La Comay is a life-sized puppet of a society matron who comments on the news with co-host Hector Traveso but the puppet found herself in hot water on December 4 after asking if a 32 year old murder victim had been ‘asking for this’ because he was in an area known to be frequented by gay men and prostitutes.
‘What was he doing along Calle Padial, a known hangout of homosexuals and prostitutes?’ La Comay speculated.
‘Was he friends with these people? Did he used to be a client of these people?’ she asked, referring to his suspected murderers.
‘Was this man, José Enrique, asking for this?’
José Enrique Gomez Saladin’s burned and battered body had been found four days after he had rung his wife to tell her he was stopping for food but never came home and resulted in a social media campaign against violent crime in Puerto Rico under the slogan ‘Todos Somos José Enrique’ (We are all José Enrique) – a prominent supporter of which is gay Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin.
The comments about Saladin’s death have lead to a boycott campaign which has seen a drop in the show’s ratings and several prominent advertisers pull their sponsorships including AT&T, Sprint and Walmart.
The show’s creators added fuel to the fire earlier this week when they suggested that criticism of the show was part of a ‘gay agenda’ and dismissed a viewer’s complaint by suggesting that he was being manipulated by gay people.
A Spanish speaking US viewer wrote to complain about homophobic, racist and sexist language on the show but the show’s producers dismissed his complaints, replying, ‘It seems that you are very influenced by people from the “gay” world.’
‘We don’t know if you are “gay” or not but you give us the impression that you are.’
La Comay’s creator and operator is a man named Kobbo Santarrosa who has made a career out of creating gossipy female puppet characters.
SuperXclusivo screens in the US on the WAPA America cable channel. WAPA management have said that they will be monitoring the show’s content more closely in future.