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April 16, 2010

Velázquez Stands Up to Hate Speech

Television Station Apologizes for On-Air Slurs

Washington, DC –A Puerto Rican television station that repeatedly aired anti-gay language while discussing the coming out of singer Ricky Martin has apologized after Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) asked for the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the matter.   In a letter to Velázquez, WAPA TV said that its performers had apologized on-air and that it was launching a Public Service Campaign to raise awareness about inappropriate language. 

“Using derogatory language on the public airwaves not only contributes to bigotry, but can foster an environment that promotes hate crimes,” Velázquez said.  “While the corrective steps announced by WAPA are positive, incidents like these are unacceptable and cannot go unchallenged.”

On April 12, Velázquez and New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn wrote the FCC asking that the agency investigate complaints against the station.  Their letter can be downloaded here.

WAPA’s letter can be downloaded here.