Comments by the Puerto Rican puppet pundit known as La Comay, the island’s own Barbra Walters, that a murdered 32-year-old publicist was “asking for this” by being in an area frequented by prostitutes have sparked controversy, causing activists to call for a boycott and advertisers to withdraw their support.
La Comay (“the godmother”) was created by former comedian and television personality Antulio Kobbo Santarrosa and was recently featured on a segment of The Daily Show.
She’s sort of a puppet version of TMZ (because that’s something to be proud of) though on her show, SuperXclusivo, viewers call in with crime tips that producers investigate.
The New York Times reports:
The uproar began when, on Dec. 4, SuperXclusivo featured a segment on the publicist José Enrique Gómez Saladín, whose disappearance had been extensively covered by local media. On Nov. 29, according to published reports, Mr. Gomez Saladín attended a meeting in San Juan and then called his wife to tell her he was on his way home.
Instead, Mr. Gomez Saladín’s body was found four days later. He had been doused with gasoline, burned and then bludgeoned to death…Mr. Gomez Saladín was on Padial Street in Caguas, a town near San Juan. The street, La Comay said, is “a center of male and female prostitution.”
Couching her statements with the phrase “apparently and allegedly,” La Comay asked, “Was this man, José Enrique, asking for this?” Of the four suspects in the case she asked, “Was he friends with these people? Did he used to be a client of these people?”
A Facebook group calling for a boycott of La Comay has attracted over 73,000 fans while advertisers like Walmart and AT&T have pulled their ads from SuperXclusivo.
“This is not a new problem,” Pedro Julio Serrano, a spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, told the Times. Serrano described La Comay and her show as “sexist, misogynist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic.”
The controversy has only helped ratings, however, though the move by advertisers has led the television network behind La Comay to reconsider who’s the puppet and who the puppetmaster.