Social media has apparently brought down “La Comay.” A popular fixture on Puerto Rican television for over 14 years – first on Telemundo and on WAPA since 1999, “La Comay” would grill politicians and celebrities, breaking news, getting scoops and uncovering political corruption scandals.
As ridiculous as it sounds, “La Comay,” a five-foot-tall vulgar-looking puppet with a shrill voice, hosted the gossip show “SuperXclusivo,” one of the most popular and highest-rated shows in Puerto Rico. Even two of the island’s governors have been interviewed live on the set by “La Comay.”
The controversial show – already criticized for being sensationalist and for its derogatory comments against women and gays – came under fire in December of 2012, when “La Comay” suggested publicist José Enrique Gomez Saladín was responsible for his own death because of his sexual promiscuity. The exec had been brutally beaten, doused with gasoline and burned after allegedly getting carjacked in an area of downtown Caguas known for prostitution.
The comments sparked outrage and a social media boycott campaign, with a Facebook campaign generating the support of over 76,000 people and celebrities like Ricky Martin and Willie Colon spreading the news about the boycott with the #BoicotLaComay hashtag to millions of their followers.
The intense pressure paid off. The creator and voice of the puppet, Antulio “Kobbo” Santarrosa, abruptly resigned on Monday, claiming he was being censored.
The station had decided to start taping the shows, instead of airing them live, so management could monitor the content and pull out anything that could be controversial or considered inappropriate. Santarrosa apparently said he wouldn’t put up with that.
WAPA’s attempts to negotiate with Santarrosa failed and the station finally confirmed his departure and the cancellation of “SuperXclusivo” yesterday.
Organizers of the boycott, which had successfully gotten dozens of advertisers to pull their support from the show, say their beef wasn’t against WAPA, but “La Comay.” They say the boycott will follow the puppet wherever it may try to go next.
A story on Puerto Rico’s Primera Hora newspaper indicates Santarrosa is in negotiations to take “La Comay” to MegaTV, but that the network wasn’t commenting on the matter.
“La Comay’s” reach was such, it even got covered by “The Daily Show” in December of 2012: