Pulse nightclub, LGBT groups condemn Univision special reenacting Orlando attack
Univision is facing backlash over an upcoming TV special featuring a reenactment of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, which left 49 people dead last June.
Its weekly investigative news program Crónicas De Sábado is scheduled to air an episode titled "Baño De Sangre" (translated to "Blood Bath") on Saturday. The outrage over the program began when a now-deleted promo was released, reportedly showing a recreation of the massacre with actors and special effects.
Barbara Poma, the owner of the LGBT nightclub, condemned the program on Facebook, writing, "I am sickened by Univision's senseless act of exploitation, which is clearly a sleazy attempt to shock and attract viewers. This graphic reenactment of one of the most terrifying nights in modern American history, does nothing but re-terrorize the victims, their loved ones and all who responded to help. While so many other individuals and organizations have stepped up to help those who suffered, Univision has chosen to hurt them. This is shameful, just shameful." <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbarbara.poma.7%2Fposts%2F2199415293617711&width=500" width="500" height="325" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>
A post on Pulse's official Facebook page alleges the network is exploiting the victims of the attack for financial gain and urges people to contact Univision CEO Randy Falco and ask the network to shelve the episode.
Pulse is joined by several LGBT groups in speaking out against the reenactment, including GLAAD and the LGBTQ+ Alliance.
"GLAAD strongly urges Univision not to air the upcoming segment of Crónicas de Sábado on the Pulse Nightclub shooting which includes a re-enactment and the sensationalist title ‘Baño de Sangre' (‘Blood Bath')," the group said in a statement. "This show's promotional videos alone have upset many – airing far too soon after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, which targeted the Latinx LGBTQ community. While GLAAD has not seen the segment in its entirety, if the ad is any indication, this could be a traumatic experience for many who are trying to heal from this tragedy."
And the LGBTQ+ Alliance sent a letter asking Univision not to release the episode. "Exploiting this tragedy, in any way, is inhumane and shows an extraordinary lack of responsibility," the letter reads in part. "While we would prefer not to waste time and energy debating the intent of Univision during the creation of this gruesome and distasteful program, we ask that you now uphold basic moral standards of human decency and not release it."
Univision has not responded to EW's request for comment, but the news program issued a statement on Twitter defending the episode. "Univision has set out to create a report that is deeply respectful of the many people who lives were impacted by this tragedy and, at the same time, is faithful to the facts underlying this horrible crime," reads the post.
Jose Zamora, SVP of communications at Univision, told the Orlando Sentinel that the program will air as planned on Saturday. "It's a journalistic project," he said. "People are upset by a promo. That promo doesn't represent the entire program."