TV puppeteer at center of controversy quits Puerto Rico

The man who embodied La Comay on

8:35 p.m. | Updated

The television personality who plays La Comay, a Puerto Rican puppet who sparked a media storm in November following radio comments about the death of a publicist, has quit.

Antulio Kobbo Santarosa, resigned on Tuesday from WAPA Television, an independent network in Puerto Rico. He left after new guidelines were put in place to manage the show’s content, called “SuperXclusivo”, including taping it before its 6 p.m. broadcast time and avoiding offensive language.

Mr. Santarosa’s contract includes a clause that prohibits “tortious, unlawful, obscene, offensive or vulgar remarks or behavior in connection with the broadcasts”.

He and his show sidekick Héctor Travieso left the studio after a disagreement with network president Jose E. Ramos, said a person with direct knowledge of the incident who was not authorized to speak. publicly.

Mr Ramos declined to comment.

The show, one of the most popular on the island, resumed production on Monday after a holiday break. After Mr. Santarosa and Mr. Travieso left, the network rebroadcast Monday’s episode.

In a statement posted to its website Wednesday, the network apologized to viewers, saying Mr. Santarosa walked out “without consulting WAPA management.”

“SuperXclusivo,” which airs five days a week from 6-7 p.m., a critical timeslot for the network, has been suspended indefinitely. The network said it would air movies instead this week.

Calls to boycott the show began after La Comay (roughly translated as Godmother) asked if the publicist, José Enrique Gómez Saladín, 32, who was murdered in November, had “asked this”. In recent weeks, the show has lost top advertisers, like Walmart and AT&T.

The puppet was created by Mr. Santarosa. “SuperXclusivo” has been on WAPA, which is owned by private equity firm InterMedia, since 1999.

Mr. Santarosa has had shows with similar characters on other networks, including Telemundo. It was unclear Wednesday whether Mr. Santarosa would take the puppet to another network.


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