A local premiere party for MTV’s reality show Siesta Key was canceled after death threats were allegedly directed at one of the show’s stars.
The father of Alex Kompothecras, who stars in the show, told The Tampa Bay Times that the premiere party in Sarasota, Florida, where the show is filmed, confirmed the cancellation.
Dr. Gary Kompothecras, a chiropractor, would not comment any further on the reasons for the cancellation.
“I wouldn’t say that’s the only reason,” he said. “There are other reasons.”
Siesta Key follows eight friends through their summer in Siesta Key, with Alex at the center. The show was created in part by Dr. Kompothecras.
The show and Alex began to receive backlash on social media following viral footage of one of Alex’s friends dragging a shark behind a boat.
A Facebook page called “Boycott Siesta Key MTV” was created and a protest was planned for the premiere party on Monday night.
Barbie Fraley, the event organizer for the premiere, told The Bradenton Herald that the premiere would have included a meet-and-greet of the cast, along with autographs and a Q&A period.
“I can’t comment further,” Fraley said.
The Facebook page for Siesta Key Animal Abuse wrote a post about the premiere, writing, “If CineBistro refuses to cancel the event, we will be there at 8:15 p.m. to greet the stars of the show as well as the producers of MTV.”
“Unfortunately, over the past few days, the connection between the production and the ‘Siesta Key’ show and the horrific videos and photos of animal abuse have come to light,” they added
Alex commented in a since-deleted post that the person in the shark video was a friend, but that he did not condone that behavior, according to Rolling Stone.
“I had absolutely nothing to do with the shark video,” he 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.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott called the video “heinous and sickening,” according to CBS 12.