Nydia-Velazquez-La-Comay
Image via AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

“La Comay” is back in the hot seat after the show’s puppet host made racist and xenophobic remarks about Senator and PPD governor candidate Eduardo Bhatia, and his wife, Isabel Fernández. Rep. Nydia Velázquez is not having it. 

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for an investigation into the practices employed by the prime-time television show “La Comay” that airs on Mega TV.

“Broadcasters operate on the public’s airwaves and are expected to serve the public interest. Broadcasting hate speech is a direct violation of that principle,” Velázquez said. 

The show’s host, a puppet named La Comay and impersonated by Kobbo Santarosa said he would rather have a Puerto Rican man or woman govern the island, instead of someone from El Salvador, like Eduardo Bhatia. 

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“For there to be a First Lady from Panama in Fortaleza, like Eduardo Bhatia’s wife, I would rather have a Puerto Rican woman instead,” La Comay said. “Or have no First Lady at all in that case.” 

La Comay went even further, criticizing Bhatia’s family heritage. 

“Eduardo Bhatia’s father, he’s practically from Pakistan or India. In other words, there’s blood from over there, Pakistan or India, running through Eduardo Bhatia’s veins,” La Comay said. “Little by little, [if we let this happen,] who’s going to [call the shots] in this country?” 

In Rep. Velázquez’ letter to the FCC she called this “a pattern” and a “direct attack to the immigrant community across the island.” 

READ MORE: You Have a Right to Voting Information in Spanish. Here’s What You Need to Know.

This is not the first time the program has been under scrutiny. It was off-air from 2013 to 2018 after Puerto Ricans boycotted the program and its sponsors in response to homophobic comments against the victim of a crime. The show has since made its way back on-air, despite the ongoing public outcry. 

On June 12, La Comay also attacked Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, a prominent lawyer and politician, by mocking her for “acting like a Black servant to her white counterpart in her political party,” activist Pedro Julio Serrano told The Americano. Rivera Lassén was the first Black and LGBTQ+ president of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association from 2012-2014. 

“People do not tolerate the abuse anymore… we will see this through to the bitter end to ensure that this individual does not continue to try to divide us with his agendas of hatred and exclusion,” Serrano said. “Let Kobbo know: We took you out once and we will take you out again, but this time it will be forever.”

“We took you out once and we will take you out again, but this time it will be forever,” said Julio Pedro Serrano.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has also joined local activists in their call to cancel the show once again. “More than a puppet on TV, Kabbo Santarossa, who voices La Comay on MegaTV, is Puerto Rico’s chief hate monger,” HRC President Alphonso David told The Americano.

“Puerto Ricans once canceled this show because of its long history of anti-Blackness, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia. It is now time again to stop La Comay from fueling the sort of hate that endangers the lives of Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ, Black, and Immigrant communities,” David said adding that the organization has also joined their call to end Santarrosa’s show by thanking Congresswoman Velázquez for shedding light to this issue.

Bhatia recently announced he will file a formal complaint to the FCC against Spanish Broadcasting System, the parent company of “La Comay,” for Kobbo Santarrosa’s xenophobic comments on the program. 

“Puerto Rico needs to be rescued from those who sow hatred every day,” Bhatia said, adding that he expects his primary rivals Carmen Yulín Cruz and Charlie Delgado to also reject publicly the attack against him and his family.