The watch party introducing MTV’s new reality series, Siesta Key, came to an unlikely halt after a video depicting a shark dragged to its death went viral. The series stars Alex Kompothecras, who is allegedly friends with at least one of the men involved in the animal abuse. As a result, at least six thousand Facebook users are protesting the show.
“Over the past few days, the connection between the production of the Siesta Key show and the horrific videos and photos of animal abuse have come to light,” according the Facebook event page for the protest.
Alex acknowledged that the person in the video was a friend, but he does not condone the behavior. “I had absolutely nothing to do with the shark video,” Alex wrote. “Yes he’s a friend of mine, but no I don’t agree with what he did. Check your facts before you go posting on my page. Thanks.” The exchange has since been deleted.
Dr. Gary Kompothecras, a Siesta chiropractor and Alex’s father, came up with the idea for the show, which will follow around eight privileged friends in the Siesta Key, with Alex as the focal point of the show (a la The Hills’ Lauren Conrad.)
Dr. Kompothecras did not clarify whether the watch party for the series was canceled due to the shark video and subsequent death threats. But he hinted at other underlying problems. “I wouldn’t say that’s the only reason,” he said. “There are other reasons.”
The premiere of Siesta Key will air Monday at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.