The Siesta Key cast wants you to know they had NOTHING to do with that awful animal cruelty controversy.
As we previously reported, MTV canceled the local premiere party for their new show, Siesta Key, after star Alex Kompothecras was hit with death threats over his association with a man who dragged a hammerhead shark to its death. We know, that’s a lot to process.
Let’s start from the beginning. Back in July, a video of boaters cruelly dragging a shark to its death hit the internet and, unsurprisingly, the footage went viral. While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission did not release the names of those involved in the crime, they did confirm that they’ve learned the identities of the culprits.
Nonetheless, it was later revealed that one of the alleged animal abusers was Michael Wenzel — who just happens to be a friend of Kompothecras. This connection inspired activists to create a “Boycott Siesta Key MTV” Facebook page, but the protest against the cast got out of hand as Alex and his castmates have since gotten death threats.
Per Alex himself, he was at the Key West airport when Wenzel sent him the footage of the shark’s death. The up-and-coming reality star told People:
“I was, like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I was absolutely horrified.”
However, the horror only just began for Alex, as he somehow got tied to this controversial incident. On the social media hate he received, Alex shared:
“I started seeing a couple messages on Facebook, like, ‘You’re a piece of crap.’ I got some horrific comments. My mom took it the hardest. She sobbed for three days in a row because she was scared for me. I couldn’t even go outside to walk my dog. It’s been hectic and scary.”
We bet. The situation was certainly scary for Alex’s peers too, as his costar Madisson Hausburg added:
“I’m getting death threats and I’ve never in my entire life been fishing. It’s scary. I understand why people are upset because I was absolutely horrified by the video. It was disgusting. It was awful. But I had absolutely nothing to do with it. No one on the show had anything to do with it. I think there was some misinformation that this Michael guy is a part of the show but he’s not — and he never has been.”
Yeesh. Siesta Key‘s Brandon Gomes not only cleared his own name, but he also stood up for Alex and the show amid the controversy. The 22-year-old noted:
“I’ve been getting DMs from people telling me they hope all of us commit suicide. I’ve known Alex for almost half my life and it’s totally unfair that he’s being slammed for something he had nothing to do it.”
How awful. And, in case you aren’t buying Kompothecras’ defense, the TV personality relayed for good measure:
“It would be one thing if it was something I’d done and I’d gotten caught but this is something I am 100 percent against. I’ve been fishing for 15 years in Sarasota and I’m very respectful of the profession. I love the water. I consider it my backyard and I would never consider doing something like that. I don’t condone what he did and I was horrified by it.”
Good to know. Oh, and Alex has also apologized for the graphic hunting and fishing images he has shared on his own Instagram. The Florida resident says he’s “embarrassed” by the content he’s posted in the past and has since deleted any cruel photos.
As for his friendship with Wenzel, Alex claims his pal has reached out to him — but he’s not ready to talk to him just yet. The Siesta Key lead concluded:
“Michael has been calling me but I haven’t responded to him because I’m personally offended. We’re friends but I’m so disappointed in him. Michael deserves what’s happening to him but I had nothing to do with this and my family and friends don’t deserve this hate.”
Oh snap! Hopefully, these statements will put an end to the death threats flooding the cast’s inboxes.
Stay strong, everyone!
[Image via MTV.]
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