MTV ‘Siesta Key’ premiere viewing party canceled due to viral shark-dragging video fallout
The cast of MTV’s “Siesta Key”; Alex Kompothecras, center; image courtesy MTV(SARASOTA, Fla.) — A viewing party for the premiere of the new Florida-based MTV reality series Siesta Key has been canceled in the wake of the fallout from that viral video of a shark being dragged to its death behind a speedboat.
You’ve probably heard of or seen the viral video by now. What has people as outraged as the act itself is the four men on the boat responsible for the act of animal cruelty are seen on the video laughing as the shark suffers. There have been widespread calls since for their arrest and prosecution, and Florida wildlife officials announced over the weekend that they’d identified the men in the video, but wouldn’t release their names.
Even so, social media has identified the alleged culprits, one of whom is reportedly a friend of Siesta Key star Alex Kompothecras, son of series creator and local chiropractor Dr. Gary Kompothecras. The latter told the Tampa Bay Times that he and his son had received death threats because of their alleged association with the man in the shark-dragging video. The newspaper quotes Dr. Kompothecras as saying there were other, unspecified reasons for the party cancellation as well.
A Facebook page titled Boycott Siesta Key MTV has surfaced in the wake of the controversy, and had over 5.800 followers as of Monday morning. The page urges the show boycott because of the alleged connection between Alex Kompothecras and the man in the video.
MTV’s Siesta Key page declares the show “follows a group of young adults confronting issues of love, heartbreak, betrayal, class, and looming adulthood as they spend the summer together in their beautiful hometown.”
The Siesta Key watch party was scheduled for 10:00 ET Monday night at a Sarasota, FL restaurant. ABC has reached out to MTV for comment.
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